White Center Jubilee Days 2018: The plan, and what’s new

June 21st, 2018 Tracy Posted in White Center Jubilee Days, White Center news No Comments »

Announced today – the plan for this year’s White Center Jubilee Days. That includes some changes, such as the carnival moving to White Center Heights Elementary because of the work that will be under way at Steve Cox Memorial Park (and no fireworks this year as a result):

2018’s White Center Jubilee Days brings some changes to the Jubilee Days format. This year’s Jubilee Days will kick off with a block party on Friday evening from 7-11pm. While the crew works hard to get things set up for Saturday’s fun, 16th Ave SW will be closed between SW Roxbury and SW 100th Streets for the community to get out and enjoy themselves. Local bars and restaurants will have outdoor service areas, there will be live music at several local venues, and we’ll elect the Unofficial Official Mayor of White Center!

On Saturday, the Eazy Duz It Car Club will roll onto 17th Ave SW to host the Jubilee Days car show and show off some incredible works of car art, 16th Ave SW will have the Main Stage and Beer Garden, Community Stage, and Street Fair, the Wide World of Kids and Detective Cookie’s Chess Program will be ready to entertain, there will be a Scavenger Hunt with prizes, and more!

On Sunday, and annual parade will march down 16th Ave SW, culminating in parade awards and a post-parade party at Viva Mexico!

PROGRAMMING DETAILS

Jubilee Days Carnival presented by Davis Shows Northwest – new location!*
Wed, July 18-Sun, July 22 | Wed-Fri, 3 pm-11 pm; Sat-Sun, 11 am-11 pm
White Center Heights Elementary School – 10015 6th Ave SW
Free shuttle to/from carnival and the downtown White Center area will be provided Saturday and Sunday (July 21-22).
*Steve Cox Park is installing a new artificial turf field with construction beginning on July 1. The carnival will not be able to use the park as a location moving forward because they can’t set up on the artificial turf. There will not be fireworks this year due to the construction, as well. Big thanks to the Highline School District for helping us find a new location for the carnival!

Friday Night Block Party & Unofficial Official Mayor of White Center Election
Fri, July 20; 7-11 pm | 16th Ave SW between SW 100th St & SW Roxbury
Street closes at 5 pm, activities start at 7 pm. The Mayoral Election will get underway at 8 pm; look for nomination info on the jubileedays.org site.

Jubilee Days Car Show presented by Eazy Duz It Car Club
Sat, July 21; Roll In 7-10:45 am, Showtime 11 am-5 pm | 17th Ave SW at SW 100th St
Awards at 4 pm, after hop at 6:30 pm

Street Fair, Main Stage, Beer Garden, Community Stage, Kids Area, etc.
16th Ave SW between SW 100th St & SW Roxbury
Sat, July 21; 11 am-11 pm (hours for specific elements will vary, see website for more info)

Jubilee Days Parade
Sun July, 22; 11 am | 16th Ave SW, starting at SW 116th St and ending at SW 100th St
Parade registration is free, join the fun! Post-parade party at Viva Mexico (10601 16th Ave SW) immediately following!

More details about all things Jubilee Days can be found at www.jubileedays.org, including Main Stage lineup, applications for vendors, parade participants, car show registration, and more. We’re looking forward to a super fun Jubilee Days with our friends, family, and community in White Center!

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Going to a county park? Keep your dog leashed!

June 21st, 2018 Tracy Posted in Parks, Pets, White Center news No Comments »

From King County Parks:

King County Parks and the King County Sheriff’s Office are joining forces to ensure the continued safety of all visitors to the County’s vast network of parks, trails, and open space.

Sheriff’s deputies are now patrolling parks, including those with natural surface trail networks like Cougar Mountain Regional Wildlife Park, as well as regional trails like the Sammamish River Trail, to emphasize compliance with leash laws.

Per King County Code 7.12.410, dogs must be on-leash in all park and trail facilities, unless in a designated off-leash area. Deputies will issue citations to violators.

Especially during these busy summertime months, it is important for dogs to be on leash when visiting parks and trails. Not only does it reduce potential injury to your best four-legged friend from unexpected encounters with wildlife or other dogs, but it also decreases the likelihood that your dog will ingest plants or berries that could make it sick.

Dog owners are encouraged to visit King County’s Marymoor Park, which features a 40-acre off-leash dog area that consistently ranks as one of the region’s best, and additional off-leash areas can be found in parks throughout Seattle and surrounding cities.

By following this simple rule, all park and trail visitors can have enjoyable experiences, whether they have two legs or four.

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Last day of school!

June 20th, 2018 Tracy Posted in Highline School District, White Center news No Comments »

Just a quick note – today is the last day of classes for Highline Public Schools. Pending ratification, September 5th is set for the start of classes next school year, except for kindergarteners, who will start September 10th.

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WHITE CENTER RESTAURANTS: CTO out, Southside Pizza in

June 19th, 2018 Tracy Posted in restaurants, White Center news No Comments »

(WCN photo)

Announced by CTO (“Chinese Takeout”), which was co-housed with Lil’ Woody’s and Beer Star at 16th/98th:

Cue the sad violin music because CTO is now officially closed. Now put on the party jams because our crew isn’t going anywhere! Beginning on Monday, June 25th, we will be opening Southside Pizza, featuring whole pies, slices, and pizza joint classics that will have something for the whole family. Chef Manny is bringing his years of working with pizza to the Beer Star building and we’re excited about this new beginning. … Thank you to those that have supported CTO over the last ten months! Stay tuned for a rebirth elsewhere in the future and enjoy the new Beer, Burgers, and Pizza combo soon to exist at the Beer Star Building!

Southside Pizza already has menu items (minus pricing) online (scroll down past the “under construction” part).

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PHOTOS: White Center Heights Elementary’s STEAM carnival

June 19th, 2018 Tracy Posted in Schools, White Center news No Comments »

Outdoors and indoors, it was designed by kids, and enjoyed by kids, as White Center Heights Elementary put on a STEAM carnival to remember on Monday. The “A” is of course for Art, like this recycled-material octopus – which also embodied the “S,” teaching an anatomy lesson:

Across the gym …

And back outside …

A little adult support, too, like Charlie from Squirrel Butter:

And the North Highline Fire District:

Just two more days left in the school year – Wednesday’s the last day!

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MONDAY: You’re invited to White Center Heights’ student-presented carnival

June 17th, 2018 Tracy Posted in Schools, White Center news 1 Comment »

Show support for local students – and have fun! Tomorrow, you’re invited to the student-planned-and-presented carnival at White Center Heights Elementary. From teacher Shoshanna Cohen:

Our fifth and sixth graders at White Center Heights Elementary are embarking on a fantastic project to design, plan, and implement the school carnival through S.T.E.A.M. (Science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics).

The carnival will be held on June 18th, 2018 at

White Center Heights Elementary, located at: 10015 6th Ave SW

4:30 pm-6:30 pm

This carnival will be open to our 750 students and the surrounding community. Please come, play, and support our incredible scholars! The students have designed games such as an Angry Birds Launcher, a Life-size Plinko Board, a Strongman Leapfrog Game, and many, many more! We will also have a fire truck, an inflatable maze, live music, bbq, snacks, and wonderful raffle prizes donated by community businesses. Hope to see you there!

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BASEBALL BOBBLEHEADS! At the Bears tonight

June 16th, 2018 Tracy Posted in Sports, Steve Cox Memorial Park, White Center news No Comments »

When we covered the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council earlier this month, Highline Bears president Russ Pritchard talked about some of the promotions coming up, including Buntly the Bear bobblehead tonight. That’s tonight! Gates open 6:05 pm at Mel Olson Stadium (1321 SW 102nd), game time vs. the Redmond Dudes is 7:05 pm. More info here.

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HAPPY ANNIVERSARY! Next week, White Center-founded Full Tilt Ice Cream marks 10 years

June 12th, 2018 Tracy Posted in Full Tilt Ice Cream, White Center news 1 Comment »

(Full Tilt’s co-founders, photographed for West Seattle Blog in 2008)

(UPDATED: Party’s been moved to 5-10 pm June 23rd)

Not long before WCN was launched in summer 2008, a White Center business that’s since expanded in a big way got its start. Next week, you are invited to the original location of Full Tilt Ice Cream (9629 16th SW) to help celebrate its 10th anniversary:

A milestone is fast approaching for Full Tilt Ice Cream, as it celebrates its 10th anniversary on June 20th, 2018.

A celebration is planned for at the Rat City location. Live music by Rats in the Grass at 8 pm. A portion of the day’s proceeds will be going to the White Center Food Bank

On June 19th, they will be celebrating the newest store with a day of free ice cream at the Capitol Hill location. From noon on, the first 200 people will receive a free kids scoop.

We have had a lot of amazing memories from the past 10 years. We have hosted some great bands, some had their first show at Full Tilt. Other nights we hosted bands and artists that we are grateful that they decided to actually play. Mudhoney, Spencer Moody, Damien Jurado, and Kimya Dawson come to mind.

There have been countless birthdays and celebrations hosted inside our walls, and we are overjoyed every day to see the faces of our community members that have supported us for an entire decade. Our first day we had no idea who would show up. We figured our friends would come see us, and maybe a few people in the neighborhood. We sold out of everything in a few hours, and the next day was even busier. White Center has changed so much in the past 10 years. Some of it good, and some of it a little sad, but we are happy to be a member of the community.

Full Tilt Ice Cream, established in June 20th, 2008, in Rat City, was founded by Ann Magyar and Justin Cline and originally had one location, no employees, and no idea what they were doing. Now, with over 30 employees and 5 locations, over 200 wholesale clients and plans for massive future expansions, it seems the next 10 years will be even more fun.

See you at the party!

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From babies to baseball and beyond @ North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meeting

June 8th, 2018 Tracy Posted in North Highline UAC, WestSide Baby, White Center news 2 Comments »

By Tracy Record
White Center Now editor

The North Highline Unincorporated Area Council is now on summer semi-hiatus after another information-packed meeting at North Highline Fire District HQ in White Center:

NEW BOARD MEMBER: Wendell Davis, a local USPS worker and dad of 4, long active in the community including sports coaching, has joined the NHUAC board.

WESTSIDE BABY: This organization helping local families “to provide the essential items that every child needs to be safe, warm, and dry” has long been headquartered in White Center, but this was executive director Nancy Woodland‘s first appearance.

She stood beneath a photo long displayed in the fire station that happens to show her husband – a North Highline FD firefighter – and child. In 2017, WestSide Baby served more than 40,000 kids in western King County. She explained how WS Baby works, with two locations now – besides the WC HQ, there’s also a location opened earlier this year in South Lake Union, and drop-off sites for strollers, car seats, diapers, etc., all over the county. They partner with more than 110 social-service agencies. They don’t provide housing; they don’t provide money. “We are experts at just providing the material items” that families need as they get back on their feet again. She told the story of helping a single dad raising his baby who couldn’t afford items beyond a “bucket car seat” in which the child was spending all waking and sleeping hours. It’s not just about feeling good, Woodland said, there’s science and research behind why this matters – Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. “Something as small as a diaper can change the world.” Another analogy: It’s like helping somebody push a boulder uphill.

Ways you can help – Stuff the Bus month is July, the Bus Bash is July 22nd, during Jubilee Days (the WS Baby school bus will be in the parade again this year), and clients will be invited to WS Baby for the event for the first time – the community’s invited too. They run on volunteer power and tomorrow are moving their distribution area to get more room, because their distribution numbers have doubled in just the past year and a half. “Every single child deserves love, and deserves joy, and deserves to know that they matter,” she concluded.

MARY’S PLACE UPDATE: More than a year after Mary’s Place opened a shelter in the former King County Public Health building next to the White Center Food Bank, a rep came to talk about the property they’ve just bought in Burien. “This does not mean we’re leaving White Center,” said Liz McDaniel, to cheers. She explained they have changed their staffing structure so “one person will be in charge of one building.” Meantime, they hope to open the new Burien location – a former rehab center – the first week of August. They hope community volunteers will help them get the Burien site ready as they did before WC opened. It will have a capacity of 218 people – “about 60 families.” Among the work they are doing are painting bright colors and expanding the dining room – the building’s been vacant a year so it needs cleaning, refreshing, setting up the rooms. Their work days will likely be in late July. This will be their furthest-south location so they will be working with the Highline school district as well as likely some to the south. It will also be their fifth 24-hour facility. Asked how many families are exiting into housing, McDaniel said it averages one a week.

KING COUNTY LIBRARY SYSTEM: Angie Benedetti, who manages “the six libraries surrounding the airport,” came to talk about the imminent remodeling of the Boulevard Park branch –

KCLS has just announced that the branch will close for up to nine months starting June 24th. She said that just this past month, they have eked out a little money from the 1 Percent for Art program and the branch will get some original work by Barbara Earl Thomas. It’ll be incorporated into the meeting-room glass. (A few windows will be added to the branch in the remodel, by the way.) The contractor who is handling the job might get it done faster – KCLS has worked with them elsewhere and “had a really great experience,” she said. They aren’t yet planning to add any hours at other branches to make up for the closure. What will the library’s staff be doing during the closure? They’ll move to other branches temporarily – some to Burien, some to White Center, some to Tukwila. P.S. The branch’s beloved “donut table” will be staying, restored and refinished.

KING COUNTY COMMUNITY AND HOUSING DEVELOPMENT: Mark Ellerbrook spoke about affordable housing in the North Highline/WC area, distributing paper copies of a map with approximate locations of sites where he says it is available. NHUAC president Liz Giba said she had wanted a list of the properties and how many bedrooms their units had, to compare with an inventory she had taken a year or so ago. She is concerned about an overconcentration in this area. Ellerbrook said he believes the county Housing Authority owns about eight properties. Fair housing “is a really important question,” he acknowledged, saying they are talking with various neighborhoods about “what is the fair share” and what responsibilities communities have. Ellerbrook also said that more housing is ultimately the solution for getting people out of shelters, such as the families that Mary’s Place is helping in White Center and, soon, in Burien, as mentioned earlier in the meeting. “The way that they get people out of their shelter is that they have a place to move to.”

Giba also brought up the under-construction Southside complex in Top Hat, which she says she’s been told will potentially house up to 1,500 people.

Accused by one attendee of concentrating low-income residents with “slums” resulting, Ellerbrook said, “That’s certainly not our intention.” Another attendee asked if the county is campaigning for higher wages so that there are fewer low-income residents; Ellerbrook said that’s outside the housing bailiwick but the county does have multiple employment-related programs. A discussion of earnings and low-income housing qualification ensued, as well as a point often made in similar discussions – that publicly owned projects don’t result in property-tax revenue to support community infrastructure. “So what’s really happening is that our local taxpayers are supplementing and making up the difference,” Giba observed.

KING COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE: New Southwest Precinct commander Maj. Bryan Howard said he started his career in the precinct in 1991, and has moved around since then, but has always considered this “his home precinct. … I have returned to this precinct at every rank.”

He said they are focused on three things:

-Crimefighting, so everyone feels safe doing “whatever they want to do.”
-Community engagement. “If you don’t know at least one officer by name, then we’ve failed … we need to be out and about in the community.”
-Taking care of our officers – being sure they know they are appreciated and supported, among other things.

Maj. Howard also brought up an issue that’s often arisen at NHUAC meetings – what’s done with tax revenue from marijuana? He said they’re requesting that one full-time DUI-handling officer be funded with that money.

He was followed by storefront deputy Bill Kennamer, who handed out the latest crime stats – K-1 is White Center, K-11 is Seola and vicinity, K-7 is Boulevard Park and unincorporated South Park and vicinity – and while auto theft is up year to year in all three areas, it’s down from Kennamer’s last NHUAC briefing two months ago.

MARIJUANA SURVEY: NHUAC vice president Barbara Dobkin urged everyone to answer the online survey that was announced during the recent Unincorporated Area Town Hall – ” rel=”noopener” target=”_blank”>here’s the link.

EVENT ANNOUNCEMENTS: The White Center Food Bank‘s “block party” is coming up Saturday; the WC Community Development Association‘s Refresh (formerly Spring Clean) is coming up too … The Highline Bears‘ season has begun at Steve Cox Memorial Park, and president Russ Pritchard said tomorrow is Jelly Donut Day, which means the first 200 in attendance get a coupon for a free jelly donut at the concession stand … among other promotions, Bring Back the Sonics night (with former Sonics players expected to be on hand) … July 20th is ice-cream night, July 21st will be Food Truck night with eight food trucks due, and they even have a bobblehead night coming up. Here’s the promo schedule. The team has signed a five-year lease with the county. Tickets by the way are $8 adults, under 12 free.

NEXT MEETING: NHUAC won’t meet in July or August, but you’ll see them at Jubilee Days. So at this point, first-Thursday meetings will resume in September – watch northhighlineuac.org for updates.

P.S. Before adjourning, NHUAC board members also agreed to send a joint letter with the Highland Park Action Committee, expressing disappointment in the city of Seattle decision – announced earlier in the day – to give a one-year extension to Camp Second Chance to stay on the Myers Way Parcels. See it here.

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CRIME WATCH: Prowlers on camera

June 8th, 2018 Tracy Posted in Crime, White Center news No Comments »

A neighbor is hoping you can help solve a prowling case:

We live in front of a vacant house on the 107th block of 18th Ave SW, owned by an elderly man who uses the home for storage. (Monday) we noticed people that looked like they shouldn’t be in the alley off of 107th Ave SW between 18th Ave SW and 19th Ave SW heading to his house, so called the homeowner, who verified he was not expecting visitors. He came out to find items from his home missing and the glass removed from his bathroom window (they climbed in through the window and opened the doors to get in). He called the police and the King County Sheriff came out to make the report. Attached are images from the game camera set-up … If you recognize any of these people, please call the King County Sheriff’s office at sheriff@kingcounty.gov or 206-296-4155 and reference case #C18024998. Deputy Richtmeyer is assigned to the case.

The photos show the three people trespassing in the victim’s yard:

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2020 Census strategy session held in White Center

June 7th, 2018 Tracy Posted in Politics, White Center news No Comments »

It happened today at the Technology Access Foundation‘s Bethaday Community Space in White Center. Here’s the King County announcement:

King County Executive Dow Constantine today announced that former Gov. Gary Locke will be the honorary chair of a community-led effort to ensure a complete, accurate Census count in 2020. Locke oversaw the 2010 Census while serving as Commerce Secretary during the Obama administration.

Executive Constantine announced Gov. Locke’s role at a strategy session King County organized to coordinate efforts by community organizations and philanthropies. King County is convening the effort sooner than it has in the past after the Trump administration announced it will add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census, which could cause a substantial undercount that would result in a loss of federal and state funding and other impacts.

“While the Trump administration is trying to push people and families into the shadows, we are mobilizing a community-led alliance to ensure that everyone who lives in King County has a voice in the next Census,” said Executive Constantine. “I appreciate Governor Locke offering to help guide this important work that will shape the future of our region, state, and country.”

The results of the decennial Census will have a lasting impact on the region and state. It will determine how many representatives Washington state will have in the U.S. House of Representatives, how county and legislative districts will be drawn, and the amount of federal funding local jurisdictions and the state will receive.

The Complete Count Committee will align the work of nonprofit organizations, philanthropies, and county government to connect with communities that have historically been underserved and undercounted, including people of color and people who earn a lower income. The Trump administration’s plan to ask residents to answer questions about their citizenship status creates an even greater need for action.

The committee will apply the same approach that King County used to make the region one of the best Affordable Care Act success stories in the nation. King County created a network of community-based organizations that helped nearly 200,000 people sign up for affordable healthcare during the initial enrollment period, and eventually cut the uninsured rate in King County by more than half. Public Health – Seattle & King County mobilized the same community network to help passengers sign up for ORCA LIFT, the nation’s leading reduced-fare program for passengers who earn a lower income.

The committee convened today will apply the same principles, having outreach teams in communities that are harder to reach by helping people complete the Census during evenings and weekends at different locations, such as cafes, libraries, restaurants, and community centers.

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Three White Center locations part of regional drug-trafficking sweep, DEA says

June 6th, 2018 Tracy Posted in Crime, White Center news No Comments »

We confirmed this afternoon with the DEA that three White Center-area locations were part of a regional “drug-trafficking ring takedown” by multiple agencies, announced today: They were in the 9700 block of 9th Place SW, 10600 block of 4th Avenue SW, and 1400 block of SW 116th. Here’s the full news release about the regional operation:

In the fourth major drug trafficking ring takedown in as many months, federal, state and local law enforcement officers fanned out across King, Pierce, Snohomish, Skagit and Thurston Counties to execute search warrants and arrest more than 35 members of a drug trafficking organization, announced U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes. Today’s arrests are the fourth takedown in a series of cases aimed at reducing drug and gang violence in Seattle, South King and North Pierce Counties. Those taken into custody today (appeared this afternoon) in U.S. District Court in Seattle.

“Over the last four months, more than 80 drug dealing conspirators moving meth, heroin, cocaine and fentanyl have been taken off our streets where they preyed on destructive addictions and used gun crime to further their trade,” said U.S. Attorney Annette Hayes. “For more than a year, local police worked with federal partners to build these cases, with the goal of addressing the shifting crime problems in South Sound communities.”

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has directed U.S. Attorneys to deploy their resources to identify and address ‘hot spots’ of violent crime. Working with local law enforcement across the South Sound, federal law enforcement identified Seattle, the Rainier and Kent Valleys, and North Pierce County as an area of concern for drug and gun crime. Today’s takedown comes on the heels of three other law enforcement efforts involving wire-taps and surveillance to dismantle sophisticated drug trafficking rings linked to violence in those areas. The first takedown involved five defendants trafficking crack cocaine in Seattle’s Pioneer Square neighborhood; the second, in March resulted in twenty arrests of heroin and meth traffickers operating primarily in South King County and the Tacoma area; and in May, a third takedown dismantled two criminal groups trafficking methamphetamine in south King County.

“DEA is in a race to save lives,” said Keith Weis, the Special Agent in Charge for the Pacific Northwest. “These strategic operations have stopped some of the most violent criminal groups operating throughout the Puget Sound Region from pushing dangerous drugs onto our communities most vulnerable members facing life or death struggles against addiction.”

“The FBI is committed to holding violent gang members accountable for their actions,” said Special Agent in Charge Jay S. Tabb Jr., of the FBI’s Seattle Field Office. “The level of violence committed by these individuals has been detrimental to the South Sound community for years. Today’s arrests mark a major step toward addressing this problem.”

According to records filed in the case, conspirators trafficked cocaine, heroin, oxycodone, illegal marijuana and fentanyl. Associates of some of the traffickers arrested today were shot and some killed in various shooting incidents in both Seattle and south King County. On the wiretap law enforcement heard conspirators talk about various shootings after they occurred, including the September 4, 2017 shooting outside a Renton hookah lounge. Among other things, conspirators discussed getting firearms after being shot at by rival gangs.

Taken together, these four operations resulted in the seizure of 75 guns, more than 95 pounds of methamphetamine, more than 32 pounds of heroin, more than 7 pounds of cocaine (both crack and powder) as well as ecstasy and fentanyl. More than $327,000 in cash and 22 vehicles also were seized.

In addition, today alone law enforcement seized 12 pounds of heroin, more than 2 kilos of cocaine, a pound of methamphetamine, 124 pounds of marijuana, 41 firearms and hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash.

“Today, hundreds of law enforcement professionals came together to make our neighborhoods safer, taking criminals and drugs off the street and possibly saving lives,” said Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best. “As a former Narcotics commander, I recognize the tireless work that goes into these investigations. Together with our federal and local partners, we have orchestrated one of the largest investigations in recent memory. A special thanks to the FBI, DEA and the US Attorney’s Office. This level of collaboration is unprecedented.”

“The U.S. Marshals have always believed in the power of collaboration, and the effectiveness of combining the resources and expertise of our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners for the common good. Today, that tradition of collaboration continues and we are proud to be a part of it”, said Acting U.S. Marshal Jacob Green.

The charges contained in the indictment are only allegations. A person is presumed innocent unless and until he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

The defendants in these cases face a variety of drug and gun charges. The penalties range from five years in prison to a maximum of life in prison depending on the pertinent charge.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. Attorney General Jeff Sessions reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.

This was an Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation, providing supplemental federal funding to the federal and state agencies involved. This investigation was led by the Seattle Police Department Gang and Narcotics Units, FBI Seattle Safe Streets Task Force, and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Other agencies providing investigative assistance include ATF, USMS, and the U.S Bureau of Prisons.

Today’s searches and arrests involved agents and officers from: DEA, FBI, ATF, HSI, USMS, SPD, Auburn Police Department, Bellevue Police Department, Bothell Police Department, Clark County Sheriff’s Office, Des Moines Police Department, Everett Police Department, Fife Police Department, Kent Police Department, King County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO), Kirkland Police Department, Lakewood Police Department, Lewis County Sheriff’s Office, Marysville Police Department, Monroe Police Department, Mount Vernon Police Department, Mukilteo Police Department, Pierce County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO), Renton Police Department, Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office, Snohomish County Drug and Gang Task Force, Tacoma Police Department, Thurston County Narcotics Task Force, Tukwila Police Department, U.S Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Border Patrol, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Washington Department of Corrections, Washington State Patrol, and the Yakima Police Department, and the following regional SWAT teams, SPD SWAT, Valley SWAT, North Sound Metro SWAT, Region 1 SWAT, Pierce County Metro SWAT, King County Sheriff’s Office TAC-30, Washington State Patrol SWAT, Pierce County Sheriff’s Office SWAT, and Bellevue SWAT.

In addition, the operations were conducted with the support of the FBI’s Critical Incident Response Group (CIRG) and SWAT teams from the FBI’s Salt Lake City, Portland, San Francisco, Sacramento, and Denver field offices. DEA’s Special Response Team’s (SRT) from Seattle, Los Angeles, Denver, and San Diego assisted in today’s operations. This investigation was supported by Northwest High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) and the Special Operations Division (SOD).

The DEA also told us warrants were served at one West Seattle location, near 20th SW and SW Holden.

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Signed up yet for White Center Refresh 2018?

June 4th, 2018 Tracy Posted in How to Help, White Center Community Development Association, White Center news No Comments »

Signed up yet for the White Center Community Development Association‘s big event? Less than three weeks to go!

Formerly the Spring Clean, The Refresh is now a two-day neighborhood cleaning and restoration event on Friday, June 22nd, and Saturday, June 23rd. For 14 years, this has been one of the CDA’s signature events. Previous projects have included garbage pickup in the business core of White Center, painting new and touching up existing murals, building garden boxes, and sprucing up the parks through partnership with King County Parks.

The CDA has decided to extend this community event to two days for more intensive projects such as the White Center Food Bank’s remodel to a grocery store layout, and partnering with Habitat for Humanity to do landscaping work. We will be capping at 100 participants for this event. This is a great opportunity for lovers of the White Center Community to come together and refresh out neighborhood! For more information and to register for this hands=on community event, go to the CDA’s website, or contact Theari@wccda.org. Registration is open now!

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THURSDAY: What you’ll hear/talk about at North Highline Unincorporated Area Council’s June meeting

June 3rd, 2018 Tracy Posted in North Highline UAC, White Center news No Comments »

Just announced by the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council – what’s ahead for Thursday’s monthly meeting:

WestSide Baby has called White Center home for nearly two decades. Although it’s home base is here, WestSide Baby collects, inspects and distributes free diapers, clothing, cribs, and safety gear for children throughout western King County. Executive Director Nancy Woodland will make her first visit to tell us about keeping thousands of children safe, warm and dry!

Place Matters. If you participated in King County’s recent North Highline / White Center Town Hall, you heard many concerns about our neighborhood. If you missed it, here’s a link to WCN’s report.

Where we live determines much about how we live and die. In fact, our zip code can impact life expectancy more than our genetic code. The Fair Housing Act was passed a week after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Still, 50 years later, segregation and inequity continue. In 2015, King County acknowledged that “It is becoming more widely known that King County residents do not enjoy the same health, resources, and opportunities because of their race and where they live.” Valerie Kendall of King County Housing and Community Development will discuss local housing, a significant factor in determining how our community fits into King County’s vision of “a healthy and vibrant community where everyone has a stable home.”

Speaking of stable homes, Mary’s Place has found one! Liz McDaniel will update us on the White Center shelter as well as plans for its new home.

Angie Benedetti of King County Library will have the latest information on the Boulevard Park Library remodel.

Once again, Deputy Bill Kennamer and Captain Rick Bridges will update us about KCSO’s activity.

Then… the floor will be yours!

Knowledge is power. Learn, share, and help make our community a better place.
June 7, 2018 at 7 pm – Bring a Neighbor!

NHUAC meets at North Highline Fire District HQ (1243 SW 112th).

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VIDEO: Street bands bring HONK! Fest West to White Center

June 2nd, 2018 Tracy Posted in Fun, White Center news 1 Comment »

12:58 PM: Today’s the day! HONK! Fest West is spending its second day of this year’s three-day festival in White Center – 1 to 6 pm. Go to the official site for the band list and locations. Free and fun. Coverage to come!

2:19 PM: Just spent the past hour wandering and enjoying:

The “stages” are at 16th/Roxbury, 16th north of 98th, and 98th east of 16th. You can wander between the areas because the streets are closed to traffic!

Each stage area has a board listing who’s up and who’s coming up. No admission charge – just wander and enjoy!

ADDED SATURDAY NIGHT: More video!

ADDED SUNDAY: More video and photos:

You can read some of the festival backstory/context here.

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Reminder from Metro: Fare-structure change July 1st

May 31st, 2018 Tracy Posted in Metro, Transportation, White Center news Comments Off on Reminder from Metro: Fare-structure change July 1st

From King County today, a reminder that the new fare structure is now a month away:

Metro’s new fare of $2.75 aims to help customers by making riding transit more convenient and reducing confusion over fare payment that leads to delays in boarding. A single fare for adult riders also lowers the potential for fare disputes, which will help improve safety.

Starting June 1, customers can purchase ORCA passes for July under the new fare structure. Metro’s fares for youth, seniors and disabled riders, and those enrolled in ORCA LIFT will not change. More information can be found on Metro’s fares page.

“You said you wanted simpler fares, and we made it happen. No matter where or when you ride, simpler is better,” said Executive Dow Constantine. “Whether you’re traveling between Ballard and Bellevue, White Center and Westlake, or anywhere that crosses the Seattle city limits, this new fare means money in your pocket. For riders who may end up paying a little more, we’re making sure people with low incomes, seniors, and the disabled have more access to transit than ever.”

Metro adopted a simple fare after receiving more than 11,000 responses to two public surveys, including one in which 80 percent expressed support for a flat fare. Metro previously had one of the nation’s most complex fare structures, with one zone for the City of Seattle and another for all areas outside of the city, as well as extra charges during the morning and evening commute.

About 65 percent of Metro boardings will see no change or pay 50 cents less under the new structure. Fares for off-peak travel will increase by 25 cents – affecting about 35 percent of Metro boardings.

ORCA LIFT PARTNERSHIP

Customers who qualify for reduced transit fares now have new ways to apply for a discount ORCA LIFT card. Metro and Public Health – Seattle & King County launched a new partnership with the state Department of Social and Health Services to distribute ORCA LIFT cards to clients in need of transportation assistance.

“Clients applying for Community Services Division programs at any of the 10 King County Community Service Offices, may also be eligible for the ORCA LIFT Program and may receive ORCA cards at the same office visit as their food or cash program benefits,” said Truong Hoang, Deputy Regional Administrator, Region 2. “CSD is committed to making transportation costs lower for those in need.”

The DSHS Community Service Offices with ORCA LIFT enrollment include five locations in Seattle, and others in Renton, Auburn, Federal Way and Kent. More than 4,200 have enrolled through DSHS since the partnership began.

ORCA LIFT allows riders with lower-incomes to pay a reduced $1.50 fare. More than 64,000 people have been enrolled in the program since it launched in 2015, with more than 14 million boardings on Metro.

ORCA LIFT is available at over 125 locations through Metro’s partnership with Public Health – Seattle & King County and local community-based organizations.

Metro also is working with ORCA agency partners to reduce the replacement card fee for ORCA LIFT customers from $5 to $3 and eliminate the $3 initial card fee for seniors and people with disabilities.

At the beginning of 2018, Metro increased funding for Human Service tickets for riders with lower-income or no income.

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VIDEO: Conversation with the county @ North Highline Community Service Area Town Hall

May 30th, 2018 Tracy Posted in King County, White Center news 1 Comment »

By Tracy Record
White Center Now editor

It’s the county’s chance to have a conversation with you, explained County Council Chair (and District 8 rep) Joe McDermott, emceeing last night’s Community Service Area Town Hall for North Highline/White Center.

A parade of high-ranking county officials followed, as the event at Seola Gardens unfolded. Something new this year: The county is launching its new initiative to serve local areas in a different way. (Added: Full video of the event:)

Specifically:

“How do we act as a city?” is what deputy executive Fred Jarrett said about the launching of the Department of Local Services. That’s especially relevant to White Center, an urban but unannexed/unincorporated area.

Harold Taniguchi – director of transportation, who is working on the Department of Local Services initiative – said it will be up and running by the start of next year. He said the department should make things run more efficiently and effectively, with a focus on customer service. And, “we hope to be out in your communities in an organized way …” with more listening. “You get the feeling that sometimes we are listening – we hope to change that up.”

As part of the Local Services launch, some departments will be no more – Transportation among them, he noted. (Transit is splitting out and becoming its own department.) But transportation projects are in the works for the area all the same, Taniguchi promised – the 8th/108th mini-roundabout is on the way, and one at 8th/102nd will follow, he said, also mentioning drainage work on South 96th

He ran the crowd – estimated at 40+ – through an on-the-spot online poll via Slido.com, with such questions as, how should the Department of Local Services communicate with you?

Next, Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht cited a “five-month run of re-energizing the department,” so far. She says she’s working on a strategic plan, and community involvement is coming up. “It’s been an honor to serve so far.”

Deborah Jacobs, director of the Office of Police Oversight, followed the sheriff. Part of her office’s charge is to “bring the civilian voice.” She added that her department looks at the trees as well as the forest, and offers policy feedback to the sheriff. They’re also supposed to take on independent investigations, but that’s still subject to “collective bargaining with the unions.”

Kevin Brown, director of Natural Resources and Parks, mentioned that Movies in the Park will be at Seola Gardens at August 4th. Lots going on at Steve Cox Memorial Park, he added, including a kids-cooking program and more. He touted the June 6th Peace in the Hood jobs event (featured here on WCN). Also at Cox Park, the new $3 million field project for multiple sports is in the works – “one of the first publicly available synthetic field in this area.” The work means Jubilee Days needs a new carnival spot this year and that has not yet been worked out, Brown said.

Jake Tracy from the Department of Permitting and Environmental Review spoke next – marijuana is his main job and there’s a study happening right now regarding unincorporated areas, including a public-comment period. It’s related to concerns about clustering of marijuana businesses. It’s studying five areas including whether zoning needs to change to open up new areas “to meet our allocation from the state” and how unincorporated areas are being affected by the way things are. They’re studying complaint and crime data. The survey is taking comments through the end of June.

Mark Ellerbrook from the Department of Community and Human Services, who manages the county health and homeless services, followed. He said his department also is working on the opioid crisis, including helping people who want help get it immediately. He ran through a long list of other services his department provides, including administering the Veterans, Seniors, & Human Services Levy.

After short speeches, poll results from Harold – 15 participants, Sheriff and Parks were the single words with the most positive effect on the community.

Social media – “local blogs” were included – won for communication choice, with e-mail right behind. Safety and homelessness were the most-cited community challenges. And there was a long list of suggestions for what the county could do to help the community.

Then – open microphone for questions. Liz Giba, president of the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council, was first. She had sent a letter to various officials about the Burien murders of two young women and said she was troubled to not receive a single reply. She is concerned about the concentration of poverty in White Center and what’s being done to make it a more economically healthy community – more healthy overall. “What are you doing? What plan is there? Is there any answer?”

McDermott replied, “Is there enough of an answer? Probably not.” But some steps are being taken, he said, citing for example the Best Starts for Kids levy and its investment in youth. He also cited the expansion of the Veterans Levy. Giba followed up with her long-held concerns about another low-income development in the works at 8th/108th – more “concentration of poverty” – “when you continue to shove more people who need help into a small space, (a few) square miles, there’s going to be trouble.” She asked the county to reconsider what’s happening with the 8th/108th site. She said that it could be a home for various groups/agencies (which is part of what’s proposed for the possible future project). McDermott added that more housing needs to be built and that might result in “more than some people would like to see in some communities.”

The sheriff said that the investigation of the murders continues and she is traveling out of town soon to visit with one victim’s family. She acknowledged that the department has very little resources devoted to gangs but they’re trying to work more on that “across boundaries.” Gangs are a culture. “We’re close to solving” the murders, “but so much goes into this, and much of it, you can’t see.”

Asked by Carol from Myers Way about homelessness, Councilmember McDermott said it’s still a work in progress. He was also asked about minimum wage and whether the county might follow Seattle’s lead. He said it would make more sense if the state looked at its law.

Ellerbrook then took on the affordable-housing issue – saying 80,000 to 90,000 units is the current estimated gap countywide. More is needed in every community, he said. Over the course of a year, 30,000 people experience homelessness, he said. 24,000 people came in for services and many didn’t need them again. “Employment is critical,” he agreed. If someone becomes ill, for example, they might lose their (expensive) apartment and possibly never be able to get into one again. He also brought up common concerns that unsheltered people have about shelters, and how it might mean more healthy people, more people connected to services, if they can improve the shelter system. The county is working on its budgeting for homeless services and both navigation and services for vehicle residents are two areas they’re working on.

Barbara Dobkin of NHUAC brought up a petition the group had circulated at last year’s Jubilee Days, talking about the area’s low-opportunity status. They want the group to study issues such as WC’s housing situation.

Community advocate Gill Loring voiced concern that the county still is not reaching out to the diverse groups that make up the area’s population – pointing out that almost everyone at the meeting was white, until a youth group arrived. “I don’t hear it from the county, I don’t hear it from Dow, I don’t hear it from the council,” he said. ”… let’s all come together, let’s be one community … why can’t the county do something about that?”

McDermott responded by explaining the race-and-social-justice lens through which the county does its work, while acknowledging that outreach efforts need to be more successful. He also mentioned that the group was largely older, too.

It was then explained that the youth who had arrived are members of an internship program, White Center to White House, and one of them spoke next. She expressed concerns about the new youth detention center on Capitol Hill. McDermott said he believes the new center is necessary “until we reach our aspirational goal of zero youth detention.” The two had some back and forth. She wondered why community-based programs couldn’t be used instead. He said we are still at a point where some youth need to be separated from the community “for their own protection and that of the community.”

Jarrett also took the microphone to say that the county also is working on a plan to see how they will get to zero youth detention. He spoke about the subpar conditions at the building that the new center will replace. He also said part of it has been “reprogrammed” to be a nonsecure area where kids who need a safe place to go during a family crisis, for example, can be helped. And he went further, saying that work to get to a world where youth detention isn’t needed will take years.

The next person with a question/concern, also a youth, said that White Center schools (such as Evergreen High School) need more rigorous courses, more teachers of colors, more security, more technology access, and more building improvements. He presented McDermott with a letter, and he in turn promised to share it with state legislators and Highline school board members. He said that through the Sound Transit taxing district, King County will be getting a small amount of money to invest in education for the next 20 years.

Then a statement from community member Bob Price: The cause of homelessness needs to be addressed, not just the symptoms.

After him, Rudy Garza from the Coalition of Drug-Free Youth, who said that marijuana access is an increasing problem for youth. They see the proliferation of stores, they see the prevalent use, and figure it’s OK. “Where does it stop?” McDermott noted that legalization resulted from a statewide vote of the people.

Tracy said his work includes – as he had said earlier – looking at ways to avoid clusters of stores and to mitigate marijuana’s effects on communities. “Educating youth on why they shouldn’t use marijuana” is very important, he said. A discussion of shops’ locations ensued as well as where the tax money from marijuana goes. “We will have a report in the very near future,” Jarrett said. He added that a larger concern for people should be what percentage of their sales tax comes back to the county. Putting together the report is very complex, others added.

Another speaker reiterated concerns about the concentration of marijuana shops in Top Hat, and contended that they are keeping other businesses from coming to the area. “(It’s) hurting the community in so many ways,” she said.

Next concern voiced: Overgrown right of way. Taniguchi asked that specific locations be provided to reps at the meeting so they can check it out and potentially take action.

Then with one final question about the county partnering with schools – McDermott reiterated that he will share the youth concern with the school district, Jarrett advised focusing on the Legislature – the event wrapped up. The questioner countered that he doesn’t believe funding would be required for the county to partner with the district.

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TONIGHT: King County Community Service Area Town Hall for White Center/North Highline

May 29th, 2018 Tracy Posted in King County, White Center news Comments Off on TONIGHT: King County Community Service Area Town Hall for White Center/North Highline

Got a question, issue, comment for/about your local government? Tonight, bring it to the annual Community Service Area Town Hall! Your County Councilmember Joe McDermott is scheduled to be there along with representatives of various county agencies/services. It’s set for 7-9 pm tonight (Tuesday, May 29th) at Seola Gardens, 10900 4th Pl. SW. Just show up!

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CRIME WATCH: Mail-theft alert

May 28th, 2018 Tracy Posted in Crime, White Center news Comments Off on CRIME WATCH: Mail-theft alert

Thanks to SM for the report from 14th SW between SW 107th and SW 112th, behind Mount View Elementary: “Our locked mailboxes were broken into from 5-19-18 thru 5-26-18, most likely on Saturday nights. So now 28 people will have to go to WC post office to pick up mail. Thought I would report this to you and others around our neighborhood. Might be a mail theft ring operating.”

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Peace in the Hood job fair on the way to Steve Cox Memorial Park

May 24th, 2018 Tracy Posted in Jobs, Steve Cox Memorial Park, White Center news Comments Off on Peace in the Hood job fair on the way to Steve Cox Memorial Park

(Photo courtesy King County Parks)

Set your calendar! As announced by King County Parks:

The 2nd annual Peace in the Hood Job Fair for ages 16 – 24 is coming up on Friday, June 8th from 3-5 pm at the White Center Community Center, in Steve Cox Memorial Park (1321 SW 102nd).

The PITH Job Fair provides employment and mentorship opportunities to youth ages 16 – 24 and is presented in partnership by Southwest Youth and Family Services, Worksource, Educurious and the King County Parks and Recreation White Center Teen Program. 200+ youth, 30+ employers, and 10+ resource providers are expected to attend. Resume & employment application assistance will be provided in advance and on-site interview options are scheduled day of with select employers. SWYFS is once again providing their extremely popular youth PITH Basketball Tournament immediately following the Job Fair. More details are available at peacenthehoodjobfair.eventbrite.com

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