Short-lived White Center power outage

September 24th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Utilities, White Center news No Comments »

In case you slept right through it, White Center did lose power for a few minutes early today, possibly related to a West Seattle outage that was already partly over by then. Here’s a screengrab of the Seattle City Light outage map during the short-lived outage:

No word on the cause so far, but it’s been a blustery night.

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FYI: North Highline Unincorporated Area Council changes October meeting date

September 22nd, 2020 Tracy Posted in North Highline UAC, Online, White Center news No Comments »

Set your calendar for October 8th instead of 1st – the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council has moved its meeting date back a week. Connection/teleconferencing details to come – watch nhuac.org.

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County budget preview includes White Center proposals

September 16th, 2020 Tracy Posted in King County, White Center news No Comments »

King County Executive Dow Constantine presents his next proposed budget on Tuesday, and his office released a preview today. This preview was focused on criminal-legal system reform as well as anti-racism work; it includes two mentions of White Center:

• Invest $750,000 to co-create and implement alternative to policing in urban unincorporated King County

The Executive Office will partner with the King County Sheriff’s Office and community members to co-create and implement a new community-driven safety model in urban unincorporated areas such as White Center, Skyway and East Renton. This may involve hiring behavioral health professionals to partner with Sheriff’s Office Deputies and divert cases from criminal courts and jails. The goal is to design the program in 2021 and implement no later than 2022.

• Invest in community engagement

The 2021-2022 Proposed Budget makes investments to change the County’s approach to working with community to support co-creation and the long-term success of community-based organizations. This includes creating a participatory budgeting effort to determine how to invest $10 million in new capital projects in the urban unincorporated areas of Skyway, White Center, Fairwood, East Federal Way, and East Renton.

While not singling out WC by name, here’s a mention of unincorporated areas:

• Divest $4.6 million of marijuana tax revenue

Executive Constantine’s proposed budget shifts $4.6 million of marijuana excise tax revenue from law enforcement to community-based programs. This represents all the money received by King County from retail marijuana sales. $2.8 million would be devoted to a program to help individuals vacate convictions of marijuana-related offenses that are no longer illegal, and settle unpaid court fines, fees, and restitution that could lead to incarceration. Black communities have historically been disproportionately harmed by our nation’s “war on drugs,” and this begins to undo some of that harm. $1.35 million would be shifted to the Department of Local Services for programs co-created with residents in the unincorporated area, including youth marijuana prevention and employment programs. The remaining $450,000 would be used to create and support a community-centered advisory body that would determine how to spend marijuana taxes in future years.

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FLOWERS! Fundraiser to help farmers

September 16th, 2020 Tracy Posted in How to Help, White Center news No Comments »

(Also posted on our partner site West Seattle Blog)

Beautiful flowers like those don’t just appear at local markets. They are grown on small farms. And like so many, the farmers have been hard-hit in these times. So they’re having a flower fundraiser, with online orders through tomorrow, and a Saturday pickup spot in White Center. Explains Cynthia Yongvang of the Hmong Association of Washington, who emailed to let us know abut this: “Our fundraiser would benefit both the Hmong flower farmers who are struggling financially during this pandemic and also our 4 very small communities (Mien, Hmong, Khmu, and Lao) in the Puget Sound area by providing rental-assistance relief to families in need so that they won’t be displaced during this time.” The order form is here, and it explains, “This weekend, based on the farmers’ selection of flowers, the mix bouquets will include sunflowers, dahlias, lilies, phlox, statice , snapdragons, gladiolus and greenery for $25, with $10 of every bouquet going to our rental assistance program.” Orders will be accepted until 3 pm tomorrow (Thursday, September 17th), with pickup options (also listed on the order form) including 9 am-noon Saturday in White Center.

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VIDEO: Highline Public Schools’ historic start

September 12th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Highline School District, Schools, White Center news No Comments »

Regardless of how it ends, the 2020-2021 school year’s start for Highline Public Schools made history, with thousands of students and teachers connecting online. The district made this video featuring dozens of scenes from Day 1.

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NEED TESTING? Khmer Health Board event at Evergreen High School next weekend

September 11th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Coronavirus, Evergreen High School, Health, White Center news No Comments »

From the WCN inbox:

The Khmer Health Board is organizing a COVID-19 Test Event on Saturday, September 19th from 9 AM – 3 PM at Evergreen High School, 830 SW 116th St.

In-person Khmer translators will be available to assist and insurance is not required for testing. Event is first come, first served. Giveaway items (health and safety supplies, Khmer groceries, etc.) are available until supplies last.

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TRAFFIC & TRANSIT ALERT: Roundabout work ahead

September 9th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Metro, Traffic, White Center news No Comments »

From King County Roads:

Starting at 7 a.m. Friday, September 11 until 11:59 p.m. Saturday, September 12, street parking will be temporarily prohibited in the following White Center locations:

• North side of SW 100th Street between 4th Avenue SW and 8th Avenue SW

• North and south sides of SW 106th Street for 100-feet east of 8th Avenue SW and first 100 feet east of 4th Avenue SW

The parking restriction is needed to allow King County Metro to reroute buses during roundabout painting work at the intersection of 8th Avenue SW and SW 102nd Street.

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BURN BAN: Stage 2 for King County

September 8th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Environment, Weather, White Center news No Comments »

With all that wildfire smoke polluting the air, and hot, dry weather continuing, here’s something else to heed:

King County Fire Marshal Chris Ricketts has issued a Stage 2 burn ban for King County, which prohibits all outdoor recreational fires. Outdoor cooking and heating appliances are limited to approved manufactured gas and charcoal units only.

The Stage 2 burn ban goes into effect immediately for King County, which was already in a Stage 1 burn ban. Today’s announcement comes after the National Weather Service issued a Red Flag fire danger warning for Northwest Washington that will last through Wednesday of this week.

Abnormally high temperatures and gusty winds, along with low humidity, have prompted both warnings. Large fires in Eastern Washington and Oregon have also contributed to reduced air quality in the Puget Sound region.

During a Stage 2 burn ban, any outdoor fire such as a backyard fire pit or campfire using chopped firewood or charcoal is prohibited. Under the ban, any person with a recreational fire who fails to take immediate action to extinguish or otherwise discontinue such burning when ordered or notified to do so can be charged with, up to and including, a misdemeanor.

Manufactured portable outdoor devices are allowed, including barbeques and patio warmers that are used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Approved fuel devices – including charcoal, natural gas or propane gas – are also allowed.

Ricketts says if residents must smoke, they should exercise extreme caution with their ashes or when they’re extinguishing cigarettes. The county asks residents to be diligent and respectful of their neighbors, and to remember this is a demanding time for first responders.

“The conditions – high temperatures, wind, low humidity – mean everyone should be on high alert about fire safety,” Ricketts said. “Things can become dangerous – and tragic – extremely fast with these conditions. Everyone should be careful.”

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Power outage along Myers Way

September 7th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Utilities, White Center news 1 Comment »

Thanks for the tip! 55 Seattle City Light customers have been without power since just after 4:30 pm. The utility has not yet said what caused it but says workers have been dispatched.

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More scooters on the way to White Center and vicinity

September 4th, 2020 Tracy Posted in King County, Transportation, White Center news No Comments »

(WCN photo, last month)

Three weeks into the North Highline e-scooter pilot, an expansion has just been announced by King County:

Momentum to bring shared electric scooters across King County is building, as a second major company has announced their e-scooters will be hitting the streets of North Highline, including White Center, on Labor Day.

Spin, a San Francisco-based industry leader, says they will roll out some of their fleet to the North Highline area just south of Seattle this Monday. Spin will join Lime as the two companies participating in a one-year pilot program created through legislation led by King County Councilmember Joe McDermott.

“This program is part of an effort to give residents a micro-mobility option that’s safe and socially distant, as well as a first-mile/last-mile option to connect with transit,” said McDermott. “Spin joining this effort will play a major role in further connecting the White Center community.”

Spin will deploy up to 50 scooters to popular transit stops across White Center on Monday (click here for a map of the service area), with pricing set at $1 to unlock and $0.25 a minute to ride. Users with limited incomes may be able to access scooters at discounted rates by applying for the Spin Access program. The program also grants access to those without smartphones, mobile location services, or credit cards.

The scooters are available from 8 am to 8 pm daily and riders can find the nearest available scooter on the Spin app and then activate it with the QR code on the scooter’s handlebar with the app. Riders are required to wear a helmet and should wear a mask anytime they might come within six feet of others. The scooters will be sanitized and maintained by Spin employees.

“We’re thrilled to partner with King County as a scooter provider for the next year. Spin is committed to working with county staff and local community stakeholders to ensure that Spin scooters increase transportation options, while reducing congestion and pollution,” said Kyle Rowe, Global Head of Government Partnerships at Spin.

The company says factors including the closure of the West Seattle Bridge have impacted the commutes of many White Center residents, making public transit an important option for some. As an incentive to commuters, Spin is offering users who park near specific bus stops when they end their ride $1 off their next ride – check Spin’s app for these select locations.

The White Center scooter pilot program runs through August 2021 and could be extended or made permanent at that time. Visit kingcounty.gov/scooters for more information about the program.

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North Highline Unincorporated Area Council: No September meeting, but set your calendar for October!

August 30th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Coronavirus, North Highline UAC, White Center news Comments Off on North Highline Unincorporated Area Council: No September meeting, but set your calendar for October!

Announced by the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council:

North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meeting
Thursday, September 3rd cancelled –

But mark your calendars for NHUAC’s virtual meeting on Thursday, Oct. 1st 7 pm –

Our NHAC board was hopeful that we would be able to resume in person meetings on Thursday, September 3rd, but COVID had other plans for us. Although statewide hospitalizations and deaths due to COVID-19 have not risen for the past three weeks, they have not gone down. With that in mind and the continued directives that we limit the size and the frequency of our social gatherings, we are canceling the September 3rd meeting.

The good news is that we plan on resuming meetings on Thursday, October 1st when we will hold NHUAC’s first-ever virtual meeting. We are excited and look forward to connecting with the community.

As we get closer to the meeting date, we will provide information on how you can join us on your computer or by phone.

So stay tuned as we plan on having some important guest speakers.

Stay Safe – Stay Healthy

Questions- Please contact: bdobkin@northhighlineuac.org

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NEED MASKS? Grocery-store giveaway

August 24th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Coronavirus, White Center news Comments Off on NEED MASKS? Grocery-store giveaway

Just announced by the King County Executive’s Office:

Customers at King County locations of Safeway will be able to take home free face masks with their groceries starting today with a new partnership between King County, Safeway, and UFCW Local 21. …

King County purchased more than 25 million face masks for county residents, and to date has distributed more than 14 million reusable and disposable masks through direct distribution and partnerships with local chambers of commerce and other community organizations. …

Starting today, customers at any of the 59 Safeway locations in King County can obtain two free reusable masks per person in their household, for up to 12 masks total, while at the checkstand. Disposable masks will also be available for customers who may have forgotten or misplaced their masks at all stores. All told Safeway will help distribute 750,000 face masks provided by King County.

The nearest Safeway stores are at 28th/Roxbury and at 1st Ave. S./SW 128th.

P.S. In case you wondered too – we checked: No purchase required to get your free reusable mask(s).

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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.

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FOLLOWUP: White Center’s first scooters have arrived

August 17th, 2020 Tracy Posted in King County, Transportation, White Center news Comments Off on FOLLOWUP: White Center’s first scooters have arrived

That’s Marcos from Lime, delivering White Center’s first scooters about an hour ago in the heart of the White Center business district. As we first reported Friday night, this marks the start of the long-in-the-works “pilot program” for North Highline.

Lime tells WCN they’re delivering “up to 50” of these dockless e-scooters today. Cost: $1 to unlock and $0.36 a minute, and there’s a lower price available for people already enrolled in low-income programs. For more info about how the scooter-share pilot program works, go here.

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Another White Center power outage

August 16th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Utilities, White Center news 2 Comments »

Thanks for the tip! 203 customers are without power as of 4:39 pm. There was a smaller outage, short-lived, in White Center early this morning too.

UPDATE: The outage lasted just a few hours. This truck reportedly was the culprit:

(Reader photo)

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FYI: Online ‘Town Hall’ for North Highline this fall

August 15th, 2020 Tracy Posted in King County, White Center news 2 Comments »

King County Local Services has sent early word of town halls coming up, including one for White Center/North Hghline:

This year’s unincorporated King County community meetings will take place online via Zoom. Participants will hear from elected and appointed King County leaders, as well as department staffers, about how their local government is delivering services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As with just about everything in 2020, King County Local Services had to think creatively about how to deliver these popular, usually in-person events while COVID-19 limits public gatherings. Last summer, hundreds of residents turned out to hear directly from King County leaders and officials, explore government services, and more at these events in their communities.

Residents said they preferred that Local Services hold the town halls in the fall, so this year’s meetings will take place—online via Zoom—in September and October.

The series will kick off on Tuesday, Sept. 8 with a meeting for unincorporated area residents and businesses in the East Federal Way area. Local Services will hold another event each week, moving through the unincorporated areas until the final event on Oct. 26 for the Snoqualmie Valley/NE King County area. Below is the full schedule:

Sept. 8: East Federal Way
Sept. 14: Four Creeks/Tiger Mountain
Sept. 16: Greater Maple Valley/Cedar River
Sept. 21: Fairwood
Sept. 23: SE King County
Oct. 1: Bear Creek/Sammamish
Oct. 6: Skyway
Oct. 15: North Highline (White Center)
Oct. 22: Vashon-Maury Island
Oct. 26: Snoqualmie Valley/NE King County

Each event will run from 6 to 9 p.m. Local Services will provide a Zoom link that users can use to join each meeting as it gets closer to the day of the event.

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FOLLOWUP: Scooter pilot program finally launches Monday in White Center and vicinity

August 14th, 2020 Tracy Posted in King County, Transportation, White Center news 4 Comments »

(Photo courtesy Lime)

This has long been in the works – and late today, County Councilmember Joe McDermott‘s office announced it’s about to start:

King County residents and visitors just south of Seattle will on Monday have a new local travel option.

Lime is launching a fleet of electric scooters to the North Highline area, which includes White Center, providing a new affordable, safe and sustainable transportation option.

The one-year pilot program, created through legislation led by King County Councilmember Joe McDermott, will give residents a micromobility option that’s safe and socially distant, as well as a first-mile/last-mile option to connect with transit.

“From the Greenbridge YWCA over to Moonshot Café and up to Salvadorean Bakery, there are a lot of essential trips throughout White Center and North Highline,” McDermott said. “I’m excited that electric scooters can be a part of connecting our community – from businesses, community centers, parks and transit. This pilot project will allow King County to learn how best to facilitate safe, reliable, affordable and accessible mobility options for everyone, and I look forward to throwing on my mask and a helmet and participating in the coming year.”

Lime will launch dozens of scooters in the area Monday (click here for a map of the service area), with pricing at $1 to unlock and $0.36 a minute to ride. Anyone already enrolled in a city, state or federal low-income program can access the scooters for $0.50 unlock and $0.07 a minute once they successfully apply for the Lime Access program. Low-income users who prefer to pay with cash can add balances to their accounts at select local 7/11 or CVS locations via PayNearMe.

Riders can access a Lime scooter by activating the QR code on the scooter’s handlebar with the Lime app. Riders can check their Lime app to see where the nearest scooter is. Riders are required to wear a helmet and should wear a mask anytime they might come in contact with others.

“White Center is one of the smallest markets Lime has ever launched, but it is also one of our most culturally rich,” said Jonathan Hopkins, Lime’s Director of Strategic Development for the Pacific Northwest and Canada. “There’s no more convenient way than riding a Lime to discover some of our region’s greatest diversity in food, shops, and even roller skating. Whether grabbing a taco or Korean fried chicken, or just trying to catch the bus, we hope to play our part in building a more connected community.”

Scooter riding also helps to support local businesses now in need as we reemerge from COVID. Lime rider surveys consistently find that more than 42% of scooter riders start or end their trips at local businesses. In some cities, as high as 77% of riders said they’ve visited local businesses and attractions more frequently due to Lime and an overwhelming 97% of riders have used scooters to visit a local business. Non-drivers are also found to spend more money at local businesses, according to a study from Portland, OR. Lime riders are also sustainable commuters; 48% of Lime riders globally use scooters regularly to connect to transit. Lime is excited about the potential to help restart local economies impacted by COVID by improving residents’ mobility and easing access.

The pilot program runs through August 2021 and could be extended or made permanent at that time. Visit kingcounty.gov/scooters for more information about the program.

The original plan was for the program to launch around the first of the year – but even pre-pandemic, as we reported in January, there were some delays.

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POWER OUTAGE: White Center included

August 13th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Utilities, White Center news 1 Comment »

4:36 PM: The mapped outage started shortly after 4 pm and is affecting 3,639 customers. Some traffic signals are out on Roxbury – remember that a dark signal = 4-way stop. No official cause yet from SCL but multiple commenters on our West Seattle site report hearing booms just before losing power.

6:58 PM: The outage is over. Here’s what SCL tells us caused it: “It was caused by a compromised stem cable leading down into an underground feeder. Crews were able to isolate it and restore power.”

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NORTH HIGHLINE SUB-AREA PLAN: Restart, and more

August 5th, 2020 Tracy Posted in King County, White Center news 2 Comments »

From David Goodman at King County:

I am writing to provide you with an update on the North Highline Subarea Plan. When I last checked in back in March, we postponed the release of a Public Review Draft of the Subarea Plan to allow the community to focus on responding to COVID-19.

Since then, the King County Council completed their 2020 update to the Comprehensive Plan. Included in that update were changes to the subarea planning program that affect the North Highline Subarea Plan. These include:

An expansion of the scope of the Subarea Plan from land use only to all topics of interest to the community; and

A directive to create a Community Needs List, a community-identified list of service, program, and capital improvement projects that support the community’s vision established in the Subarea Plan.
Planning for the North Highline Subarea Plan and Community Needs List will begin this month and run through December of 2021. The work we completed between July 2019 and March 2020 will be incorporated into this effort.

To learn more about this new scope of work and provide input and direction, please visit our new project website and mark your calendar for August 18 from 7 to 8:30 PM for a community call to officially kick off this new planning effort. More information about the call is available on the website and on the attached flier.

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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.”

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