PHOTOS: Night Out celebration with King County Sheriff’s Office visitors

August 2nd, 2023 Tracy Posted in King County Sheriff's Office, Neighborhoods, White Center news Comments Off on PHOTOS: Night Out celebration with King County Sheriff’s Office visitors

Thanks to Gill for these photos from the Night Out party Tuesday in the 20th/104th area. Not only did neighbors gather for food and fun, but they had visitors from the King County Sheriff’s Office, too:

Gill says it was the KCSO entourage’s last stop of the night, so they were able to hang out for a while:

Along with food, the party included games:

Night Out celebrates its 40th anniversary next year as a coast-to-coast chance for people to gather with their neighbors and local public-safety personnel for a focus on safety and community-building.

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Early reaction to 16th SW plan, draft design standards, more @ North Highline Unincorporated Area Council’s March meeting

March 8th, 2022 Tracy Posted in Neighborhoods, North Highline UAC, White Center news 6 Comments »

By Tracy Record
White Center Now editor

Two projects proposing White Center changes large and small were in the spotlight at the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council monthly meeting, held online last Thursday night.

16TH SW PLAN: Last month, NHUAC got a short presentation about this, and word of a survey. This month brought the full presentation, as the survey continues until March 18th.

To recap, the county plans to trim 16th SW between 100th and 107th to one vehicle-travel lane each way – the question is what that will look like, and how the rest of the road will be apportioned. “The goal is to reduce speeding and to make it safer for people to cross the street,” said Broch Bender from King County Road Services. That section of 16th, Bender said, saw 217 collisions between 2011 and 2020, 19 involving pedestrians.

It’s a $1.6 million project, with construction expected in summer/fall 2024.

After the county decides which option to build, other aspects will be discussed. Bender had details of the planned improvements at intersections:

The road currently has two travel lines each way, one center turn lane, and 34 on-street parking spaces in the project zone.

Option 1 would add a buffered bike lane on each side of the street, reduce vehicle travel lanes to one each way, and add 19 parking spaces.

Option 2 would have a parking lane on each side, would reduce vehicle travel lanes to one each way. 39 parking spaces would be added.

Here’s a comparison of components:

In Q&A/comments, one attendee worried about traffic diverting through neighborhoods, which they said has increased during the West Seattle Bridge closure – could roundabouts be added to discourage that? Bender said they’ve heard that suggestion from others. They’re still evaluating data to address traffic diversion, Bender replied.

Another attendee wondered why parking would be added, since there doesn’t seem to be a need for it; yet another was concerned about the bicycle lane placement between other lanes. Fire Chief Mike Marrs wondered about the impact on public safety, with the loss of lanes. Generally, the emergency vehicles use the center lane, was the reply. Will this connect to a bike lane on Ambaum, so it’s not just a few orphaned blocks? asked another attendee. It will connect to a new dedicated bus lane south of 107th, and, the county team said, and there are thoughts that bicyclists might be able to use that – they’re interested in comments on that. “The combined bus/bike lane is trash,” replied the attendee. “I don’t even know how that occurred to someone, to put the largest vehicle on the road in the same lane with bikes.” Bender stressed to everyone, including those commenting at this meeting, to please use the survey to ensure their comments are “documented – that’s how we’re going to go about this, what we hear from the community will make it into this design.”

Speaking of which, they had some early results (we published the survey link here and on partner site West Seattle Blog after last month’s NHUAC meeting) – here’s how they’ve distributed the survey:

So far, the bike-lane option is leading:

That includes with respondents who said they live nearby:

The King County team expects to return to NHUAC later this year with an update. Meantime, take the survey!

There’s a survey for the next topic, too:

NORTH HIGHLINE URBAN DESIGN STANDARDS: Jesse Reynolds led this presentation. He stressed that the design standards do not involve zoning:

“If zoning was a cake, this would be the icing on the cake” – how the building, street, landscaping look, “what your eye sees as you walk down the street.” They’re taking comments/ideas through March 28th (here’s the survey). Then June 30th they will send a proposal to the County Council. After an array of initial outreach, here’s what he said they’ve heard:

The standards, once developed, will apply to future development. One person thought there should be standards for marijuana businesses; Reynolds said the standards won’t affect the use of buildings, only how they look. (In side discussion, Deputy Bill Kennamer noted that there was an application for another shop in the old Rat City Records space on 16th, and it was being challenged.)

Back to the design standards – here’s how they’ll break down:

“We’re trying to set this up so you all have more stake in how development (plays out) in your community,” he said, explaining the public process in which this would result, and showing examples of what’s in the draft document, like these renderings of multifamily/commercial development:

Reynolds also noted a concept called GreenCenter, as a “checklist that requires (a certain percentage of) landscaping.” And he said there’ll be standards for new buildings so they fit in with the current neighborhood character. Safety concepts, too.

There would also be a Local Business Support Fund into which developers would pay in exchange for increased commercial density.

In Q&A, clarification was sought for how prospective developers would be expected to determine the context; that’s all spelled out, Reynolds said. NHUAC’s Barbara Dobkin asked who’s on the committee that’s been working on this, as it’s the first this group has heard. This is the first “public meeting,” said Reynolds. The draft standards will be on the agenda for the upcoming North Highline Town Hall on March 22nd. Meantime, take the survey!

CRIME/SAFETY: Deputy Kennamer said the shooting at the 76 station (it wasn’t at the library, as some had reported) was one of the biggest issues of the past month – the 13-year-old victim and another man got involved in a gunfight. One of the guns has been recovered. There was a robbery on 16th. This past month saw a big increase in aggravated assaults, for reasons unknown. Larcenies are down; vehicle thefts are up – “all over the place, not just White Center and Burien,” he said. He thinks it’s because auto thieves “know that cops can’t stop them any more, they can just drive away.” Commercial burglaries are down – a prolific suspected burglar remains in jail. Here are the stats:

In discussions of traffic trouble, Kennamer noted, “As soon as the West Seattle Bridge gets fixed, 90 percent of our problems will be solved.” An attendee brought up an early-morning drive-by shooting at 18th/100th on February 5th and wondered what’s going on with the repeat shootings in the area. “Usually they’re early in the morning, and nobody saw anything,” so there’s no evidence to follow.

One attendee said they’re glad to hear about the King County catalytic-converter task force and wondered what steps to do to protect a vehicle. Deputy Kennamer said there’s aftermarket protection you can install, but it would be better if there were tougher laws about selling catalytic converters. Other topics included loud music in west White Center – the Liquor and Cannabis Board agent in attendance suggested it’s a rental venue that has had some really loud events.

ANNOUNCEMENTS: Darlene Sellers from the Teen Program said the fifth season of Log Cabin’s Got Talent is coming up, They’re accepting videos in all kinds of talent – Saturday, March 19th, is the deadline; March 25th is the show. They’ll have a touring arts-and-ice-cream truck stopping at several parks. … Jerry Pionk from Local Services reminded everyone about the aforementioned March 22nd North Highline Town Hall “one last time by Zoom” … Michael Morales introduced himself; he’s working on the displaced businesses from the big fires last year, to “help plan out what they want to do next,” navigate the permit process, find financing resources. “This block will be rebuilt,” he declared.

NEXT NHUAC MEETING: 7 pm first Thursday in April – that’s April 7th.

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Night Out 2021 in White Center

August 4th, 2021 Tracy Posted in Neighborhoods, White Center news Comments Off on Night Out 2021 in White Center

Big Night Out party on 20th SW – thanks to Gill Loring for the photos! King County Sheriff’s Deputies showed up, as did North Highline firefighters:

Here’s host Ron getting ready to feed attendees:

And here’s how the night ended:

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SUNDAY: Greenbridge gathering to grieve, post-fire

July 10th, 2021 Tracy Posted in Fire, Neighborhoods, White Center news Comments Off on SUNDAY: Greenbridge gathering to grieve, post-fire

(WCN photo, Friday)

Sunday at noon at Greenbridge Plaza, all are invited – here’s the announcement:

This event is being organized by The Boxing Gym Westside. It is meant to be an opportunity for everyone in the White Center community to come together in a spirit of love and healing. A space where we can grieve the loss of the spaces we have held so dear by celebrating them and looking forward.

There will be live drumming with Otoqui Reyes of Hijos de Agueybana as well as other local artists.

**This is a free event**

The Boxing Gym Westside is organizing this event, but please feel free to check the list below for ways that you can contribute to whichever of the businesses speak to your heart.

Please do not let an inability or lack of desire to make a donation keep you from joining us.

This is a casual gathering with no bathrooms provided. Please account for that and also consider that we will be in a neighborhood with many homes surrounding the space – let’s be mindful of the energy we are bringing into that space and let’s also be sure to clean up after ourselves.

Additionally, have a mask handy and please plan to follow all state guidelines for masking, etc.

Ways to donate via crowdfunding:

*Here’s one for the Boxing Gym
*Here’s one for staff of the affected businesses
*Here’s one for Nuggi, the boba-tea shop that was opening soon
*Here’s one for La Tipica Oaxaqueña
*Here’s one for Dottie’s Doublewide (for new owners who were preparing to reopen)
*Here’s one for John’s Hair and Nails
*Here’s one for Rat City Tattoo

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Another Night Out 2019 scene: 20th SW party

August 8th, 2019 Tracy Posted in King County Sheriff's Office, Neighborhoods, White Center news Comments Off on Another Night Out 2019 scene: 20th SW party

More Night Out 2019 scenes, in photos and a report from Gill Loring:

Thanks to Ron Johnson on the block of 20th Ave. SW south of us we had a great August Night Out Against Crime. Some newcomers including a three week old baby.

The Sheriff’s Dept. showed up with Major Anderson, the new Precinct 4 commander, along with the new Community Engagement Specialist, Tierre Larose, who has been here a month, having moved from Ohio . He does like our weather!

Deputy Hancock can be seen addressing the well fed crowd telling them to call 911 any time you see something out of the ordinary. Of course, the first representative of the Sheriff’s Dept. to arrive was CSO, Peter Truong.

Great crowd, great food and perfect weather. What a great annual event.

Night Out is always the first Tuesday in August – you can start planning for next year now!

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NIGHT OUT 2018: Scenes from White Center

August 8th, 2018 Tracy Posted in King County Sheriff's Office, Neighborhoods, White Center news 2 Comments »

Thanks to Gill Loring for sharing photos from a White Center Night Out party on Tuesday night, hosted by Ron Johnson, below right with King County Sheriff’s Office Maj. Bryan Howard:

Gill reports that Maj. Howard shared a “great message – your neighbors help protect the ‘hood.” Also there from KCSO, Community Service Officer Peter Truong:

The visiting patrol cars particularly impressed a young partygoer:

But the main attractions were mingling and munching:

If Night Out put you in the mood to talk more about community safety, you’ll want to be at the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council‘s September meeting – we’re told the Sheriff herself, Mitzi Johanknecht, is the expected guest.

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CAMP SECOND CHANCE: Community Advisory Committee meets Sunday

June 3rd, 2017 Tracy Posted in Neighborhoods, White Center news Comments Off on CAMP SECOND CHANCE: Community Advisory Committee meets Sunday

For those interested in Camp Second Chance, the City of Seattle-authorized encampment on Myers Way, its Community Advisory Committee meets again tomorrow (Sunday, June 4th). Even if you already knew that – take note that the location has been moved; when the 4 pm Sunday meeting was first announced, it was set to happen at Arrowhead Gardens, the senior-living complex a few blocks south, but now Polly Trout of camp operator Patacara Community Services says it’ll be at the camp instead, as was the first meeting (which we covered). The meeting is open to everyone.

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Night Out in White Center: Great night for a block party

August 5th, 2015 Tracy Posted in Neighborhoods, White Center news Comments Off on Night Out in White Center: Great night for a block party


White Center was among the thousands of communities around the nation with Night Out block parties on Tuesday night, meant to strengthen neighborhoods, to enhance safety and preparedness, while neighbors young and old mingled.


Thanks to Barbara for the photos – note the visiting firefighters!


Night Out is usually held on the first Tuesday in August.

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Scenes from Night Out 2014 in North Highline

August 6th, 2014 Tracy Posted in Crime, King County Sheriff's Office, Neighborhoods, North Highline Fire District, White Center news Comments Off on Scenes from Night Out 2014 in North Highline

Thanks to North Highline Unincorporated Area Council president Barbara Dobkin for sharing photos from a lively Night Out gathering in NH – our apologies for delayed publication. Above, NH Fire District firefighters stopped by. Below, King County Sheriff’s Office was represented too – that’s Major Jerrell Wills in uniform:

And he wasn’t alone:

Next year, let us know if you are having a Night Out party – we would love to stop by a few, as we do on the other side of the city-county line – any time!

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Night Out in White Center: Scenes from a block party

August 8th, 2012 Tracy Posted in Crime, Neighborhoods, Safety, White Center news Comments Off on Night Out in White Center: Scenes from a block party

Thanks to North Highline/White Center neighborhood advocate Gill Loring for sharing photos from one of Tuesday night’s Night Out block parties – 20th SW between 102nd and 104th. The host was another neighborhood advocate, Ron Johnson (who also serves as a member of the all-volunteer North Highline Unincorporated Area Council). Here’s Ron chatting with one of the King County Sheriff’s Office team members who visited, Community Service Officer Peter Truong:

Also spotted at this party, White Center Storefront Deputy B.J. Myers:

Neighbors got a chance to talk with the officers as well as with each other:

Gill reports the party went on until dark.

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White Center Night Out 2011!

August 3rd, 2011 Tracy Posted in Neighborhoods, Safety, White Center news Comments Off on White Center Night Out 2011!

Thanks to Gill Loring for sharing photos from Tuesday’s Night Out neighborhood crime-fighting celebrations in White Center. He reports, “Great crowd of neighbors numbering some 35. It is just satisfying to get a bunch of people together once a year and share what has been going on in our lives.”

And they had some high-profile visitors: “Peter Tuong, King County Sheriff’s Office Community Service Officer, showed up early on and the North Highline Fire Dept. arrived, lights flashing, a bit later.”

Plus; “(Burien City Manager) Mike Martin was making the rounds on his motorcycle.”

Gill continues, “(Burien City Councilmember) Gerald Robison stopped by as well. And the weather was PERFECT!”

Night Out is always the first Tuesday in August – so mark your calendar for August 7, 2012!

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A little citywide-media love for White Center Now!

October 2nd, 2009 Tracy Posted in Neighborhoods, Online, White Center news Comments Off on A little citywide-media love for White Center Now!

Seattle Magazine just published a little article about neighborhood-news websites. While we are always honored to see our bigger site West Seattle Blog mentioned, we were pleasantly surprised to see White Center Now included! There were no interviews conducted for this story, totally the writer’s observations, so we didn’t know this was coming till we saw a link go by a few minutes ago via Twitter. Here’s the page mentioning WCN. (Our “best of” list would include a few more, but we’re also glad to see the magazine mention quirky Blogging Georgetown and longtime Tacoma staple Exit 133.) Thanks to the growing number of people who are reading this site and even more importantly, sending us information to share.

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Georgetown Call for Artists

April 8th, 2009 Ricardo Posted in Arts, Music, Neighborhoods Comments Off on Georgetown Call for Artists

Call for Artists – Artopia

Artopia Seattle is a grassroots celebration of emerging and established artists and communities. The event focuses on a wide rage of artistic disciplines including: sculpture, industrial design, performance (music, dance, fire, bicycles, motorcycles, carnival street performance, etc.), graffiti, illustration, comic art, painting, photography, graphic design, multimedia and multidisciplinary art, short film & video, tattoo art. No idea is too crazy for Georgetown.

If you are an artist working in one of these areas please fill out the form linked below.

Deadline: May 15, 2009

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The Worst Blocks in White Center

March 11th, 2009 Ricardo Posted in Crime, Neighborhoods, White Center, white center community safety coalition 12 Comments »

I generally try not to dwell on the issue of crime in White Center because, on the whole, I think WC gets an undeserved bad rep on this issue.  The place has really cleaned up and there are now some very clean stretches where even petty vagrancy will not be found.  Such, however, is not the case for the three blocks of 15th Avenue SW just south or Roxbury.  Here you will find what White Center used to look like 15 years ago.  Vagrants, thugs, drug dealers and chronic alcoholics own these blocks.  On any given night (or day) you will see roving bands of miscreants plying their wares.  Whether it be the sale of black tar heroin, public drunkenness or just vagrants looking to rifle any car window left open.  I know the Sheriff’s Department considers this a high crime zone, as I have both talked to them and seen them on patrol.   More, however, needs to be done.

Looking south on 15th Ave. SW - DSHS Building to Left (google map)

Looking south on 15th Ave. SW - DSHS Building to Left (google map)

The area suffers these problems because of some structural issues relating to lack of citizen surveillance.  The DSHS building that occupies the block just south of Bartells’ is an architectural crime against humanity.  The designers of the DSHS building (formerly a Safeways) should be indicted in the Criminal Cout at the Hague.  It seems no effort was spared to make this into an insult to the community.   The entrance to the building faces the parking lot and has no sight of anything on the street.  The back walls all face towards the community creating an architectural dead zone; precisely what you don’t want when trying to integrate into a neighborhood (and create public safety).   The hidden spaces created by the building provide sleeping spaces for the homeless and the vagrants.   And the dead zone allows all manner of activity to go undetected.

Looking further south on 15th Ave. SW

Looking further south on 15th Ave. SW

Few of the business in this area have street level views (shops that front sidewalks).  As such, the shop owners, even if they were inclined to keep on eye on matters, cannot see what is going on.  It does not help that many of the businesses are run by first generation immigrants, who have some level of distrust for the police.  As well, many are not accustomed to the concept of community policing.  All this adds up to a three block free-for-all for criminals and miscreants.   I will be adding pictures of some of these folks, including at least one who is registered sex offender, obviously using his “homeless” status to keep from registering.

Suffice it to say, that until this last stretch of bad seeds is cleaned up, White Center will continue labor under the unfortunate appellation of Rat City.

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White Center neighborhood alert: Garage break-in

January 21st, 2009 Tracy Posted in Crime, Neighborhoods Comments Off on White Center neighborhood alert: Garage break-in

From Alison, who lives near Evergreen High School:

I just discovered that our garage on the far side of our yard has been broken into. Doesn’t look like anything was taken, if the thieves had looked through the window they would have discovered that it looks like a bomb went off in there and its impossible to get past the door. Equally annoying was the fact they ripped the hasp off the door-the padlock was not locked since it got water in it. We don’t keep anything of value in there so it was all for naught on the thieves part. I guess with the way things are people are pretty desperate, but I don’t think tarps and plastic flower pots really fetch much at the pawn shop these days.

King County Sheriff’s Office has burglary-prevention advice online.

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Volunteer to Clean Up this Saturday – South Delridge & White Center

January 7th, 2009 Ricardo Posted in Businesses, Environment, Neighborhoods, Volunteering, White Center 1 Comment »

Time to get out there and help spiffy up the White Center area.  Come and help with clean up and green up sponsored by the City of Seattle.  Mayor will be in attendance so if you want to chat with Mayor Nickels, here’s your chance.

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White Center’s neighbors in Top Hat get Times spotlight

December 13th, 2008 Tracy Posted in Neighborhoods, Real estate Comments Off on White Center’s neighbors in Top Hat get Times spotlight

In the Times’ real-estate section, a nice feature about White Center-neighboring Top Hat, including some quotes from Heidi Johnson of the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council. Read it here.

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Greenbridge and its Critics

November 23rd, 2008 Ricardo Posted in Development, Economy, Government, Neighborhoods, Safety, White Center, White Center Early Learning Initiative 9 Comments »

You have to hand it to Bush & Company, they were spot on when they proclaimed that the free market would most assuredly take care of such problems as affordable housing.  Who could have known, a mere three years ago, with housing prices skyrocketing and rents pricing out most renters, that a social revolution was brewing.  Social reformers and liberals cried out for government aid to build low income housing.  Who knew that the mind behind Bush had a smashing plan for bringing down the cost of housing across the board and across the nation?  Genius, pure genius!   Drive the economy into the ditch and pretty soon you are picking up quarter-million dollar homes for $100K in Florida and California.  Here in Seattle, rents have dropped dramatically and landlords are offering incentives to get their units occupied.  Problem is no one has the money to snatch the cheap real estate.  Ah, the magic of the free market at work.

What, you may well ask, does this have to do with the Greenbridge development?   Greenbridge is more than a housing project, it is a master plan for the community.  Greenbridge, and High Point, were developed with certain assumptions in mind.

The project, launched in 2001 with a grant from the federal Hope VI program — the same program that has contributed to the redevelopment of High Point and Holly Park — is supposed to include 1,025 living units. That’s a lot more housing than Park Lake held, but a lot less of it will be subsidized for the poor. The mix is supposed to include 300 rent-subsidized units, 353 workforce rental units, and 372 homes for sale at market rates. This represents a net loss of 269 rent-subsidized units. Instead of maintaining a large pocket of low-income housing in White Center, the county decided to disperse.

As well, the project was developed before the economy hit the squids and before the current real estate meltdown.  Hence, the criticism that some of the economic assumptions underlying the project were wrong.

The King County Housing Authority built the first part of Greenbridge at the height of the real estate boom, when prices for everything were sky-high. The sale of lots for market-rate housing was supposed to reimburse the county some of the cost. By the time the housing authority offered its first relatively small group of market-rate lots for sale, the market had plunged. Only one developer bid on the land, at a price way lower than expected. Having bought high, the county felt it couldn’t afford to sell low. It retracted its request for proposals. For now, the single-family portion of Greenbridge is on hold until the market picks up.

As well, some readers of this blog have expressed concern that the early learning center is a lot of wasted money, destined more for monuments than for education.   Needless to say, Greenbridge and its constituent parts have no shortage of critics.  This is so, despite the very involved political process used to  formulate its goals.  Unlike private developments, the development Greenbridge required input from a great many constituent groups.  As well, the philosophy behind Greenbridge incorporates the revolution in urban planning that did away with such government-manufactured ghettos such as Chicago’s infamous Cabrini Green towers.  When all is said and done, Greenbridge is supposed to be a place that is safe, pleasant and attractive.  And it will be organically connected to the larger White Center Community.

More to come, but feel free to jump in with your observations and comments.    (As always, be civil, or your comment will be deleted.)  In the interim, here are some pictures taken on November 23rd, showing the current progress.

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White Center Community Summit – Saturday, November 8th at Mount View Elementary School

November 7th, 2008 Ricardo Posted in Businesses, Development, Economy, Education, Environment, Families, Neighborhoods, Politics, Schools, Transportation, White Center, White Center Community Development Association Comments Off on White Center Community Summit – Saturday, November 8th at Mount View Elementary School

The White Center Community Development Association and Trusted Advocates will host the 2008 Community Summit this Saturday, November 8th at Mount View Elementary School.  The event starts at 8:00 am and ends at 3:00 p.m.  Please come and offer your input on the future of your community.   Mount View is located at 10811 12th Avenue SW.

This year’s community summit will gather families, government agencies and local community-based/non-profit organizations in a fun family-friendly environment.  Live cultural performances, ethnic foods, door prizes and children’s activities are just a taste of what the summit has to offer!

Come learn about the issues affecting your community and how you can be involved in a positive way.  There will be info booths and workshops on health, education, jobs, housing, annexation, immigration and more.  Translation services will be provided in Cambodian, Vietnamese, Spanish, Tigrinya, Somali, Amharic, Samoan, Arabic and English (other languages upon request).  Childcare will be provided.

For more info:  Ebony Davis: (206) 694-1082 ext.  168 – or Ian Dapiaoen:  (206) 694-1082 ext. 175 or

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New York Times Celebrates Fremont and Ballard: White Center Next?

October 31st, 2008 Ricardo Posted in Arts, Businesses, Development, Neighborhoods, White Center 2 Comments »

(Picture is from New York Times website)

The New York Times Travel Section celebrates the quirkiness of Seattle’s Fremont and Ballard neighborhoods, in a piece entitled, “A Seattle That Won’t Blend In.” It probably goes without saying, that once the literati celebrate a place’s Bohemian character, the place is no longer Bohemian and likely has gentrified to the point of gentility.  True Seattlelites, as the late Emmett  Watson of lesser Seattle might have noted, know that one is more likely to find Adobe geeks, PCC yuppies and trophy wives getting botox shots in Fremont than they are to find witches, hippies and beats.   But so be eat.  Let the tourists have Fremont and Ballard.

At Cafe Rozella we like to riff on the old Fremont, by saying that White Center is the “new” Center of the Universe.  In some sense, we do carrry the torch of real quirkiness, as affordability, ample bars and coffee houses feed the artitistic temperament.   And as we well know, The New York Times is not going to be celebrating our charms anytime soon.  So on this night of witches, warlocks and saints, drink a toast to the White Center that IS before we toast to the White Center that WAS.  Cheers!

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