THURSDAY: Join NHUAC’s conversation with the King County Council District 8 candidates

October 2nd, 2023 Tracy Posted in Election, North Highline UAC, White Center news No Comments »

This Thursday’s the big night – with two weeks to go until voting begins, the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council will talk with the candidates for King County Council District 8, the seat that Joe McDermott is leaving:

You Are Invited

Candidates Forum
Presented by: North Highline Unincorporated Area Council

Thursday October 5, 2023 @ 7 PM


King County Council District 8 Candidates
Teresa Mosqueda & Sofia Aragon

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 883 6022 7989
Passcode: NHUAC2023 (Case Sensitive)

Or Join by Phone: 253 215 8782
Meeting ID: 883 6022 7989
Passcode: 839454575

All Are Welcome – Bring Your Questions – Get the Facts
Be Informed Be Involved Be Counted


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North Highline Unincorporated Area Council skips September, reconvenes in October with County Council candidate forum

September 4th, 2023 Tracy Posted in North Highline UAC, White Center news Comments Off on North Highline Unincorporated Area Council skips September, reconvenes in October with County Council candidate forum

Our area’s community council, the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council, has just announced its first meeting of fall – on Thursday, October 5th. Here’s the announcement:

North Highline Unincorporated Area Council Will Not Be Holding a September 2023 Meeting

Hope everyone had a wonderful, restful Labor Day weekend. It is always hard to say goodbye to our beautiful NW summer. Fortunately, there are plenty of long days and good weather to enjoy as we move into fall.

NHUAC will not be holding a September meeting. Our meetings will resume on Thursday, October 5th at 7pm when we host a Candidates Forum with Teresa Mosqueda and Sofia Aragon, who are running for the King County Council’s District 8 seat. Joe McDermott, who has held this seat since first elected in 2010, did not run for re-election.

If you have attended any of our past forums, you know there will be plenty of time for attendees to address questions to the candidates (see links below to their websites).

Mark your calendars and plan to attend on Thursday, October 5th, 7 pm, over Zoom.

Hope to see you then!

Here’s our coverage of NHUAC’s most-recent meeting, in June.

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Myriad hot topics, from homelessness to fireworks enforcement, at North Highline Unincorporated Area Council’s June meeting

June 4th, 2023 Tracy Posted in North Highline UAC, White Center news Comments Off on Myriad hot topics, from homelessness to fireworks enforcement, at North Highline Unincorporated Area Council’s June meeting

By Tracy Record
White Center Now editor

Summer break has begun for the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council‘s meeting schedule – but not before an info-packed June meeting, held online last Thursday. Here’s how it unfolded:

NEW BOARD MEMBER: Brigitte Vaughn was voted in at the start of the meeting.

COUNTY COUNCILMEMBER JOE McDERMOTT: It’s his 13th and final year on the council, as he’s decided not to run for re-election. He first recognized Pride month, pointing out that its roots are in the Stonewall uprising in 1969, with significant leadership from drag queens (who are under attack in some parts of the U.S. these days) – “While in our local jurisdictions we may feel supported, well over 200 laws have been introduced in recent years” seeking to delegitimize LGBTQIA+ people, and vigilance is vital – “Pride isn’t a weekend a year or a month, it’s something we have to be engaged in throughout the year … recognize that we cannot ‘other’ marginalized communities and we must champion (them all).”

That said, McDermott offered some reflections on his 22+ years in elected office and says he’s excited to find his “next career.” From there, NHUAC’s Liz Giba started with questions – homelessness first, and this week’s murder at the unsanctioned encampment on Myers Way. McDermott pointed to the situation in Burien, where a controversy is raging after an encampment sweep that has led to a new camp on city-owned land and an order to vacate that site. He said living unsheltered isn’t “ideal” but “you don’t sweep an encampment without a place for people to go,” noting that federal judges have made that clear. The people along Myers Way haven’t been offered places to go. The Regional Homelessness Authority has been working on outreach at the site for more than a month, he said. “What’s essential to understand is that those links (to services and shelter) don’t happen in one visit” – in some cases it might take seven visits/contact to build a relationship to the point where they’re ready to accept it. NHUAC’s Barbara Dobkin noted that the greenspace at the site is being destroyed. Who’s responsible for preventing that? The conversation digressed from there and McDermott noted that the contention that many homeless people come here from out of town is erroneous – most list “last fixed address” as in King County. An attendee jumped in with questions such as whether the county has a fund to help people avoid becoming homeless. McDermott said, “We’re not at the point where we should be to prevent homelessness in the first place,” even eight years after he and other leaders declared that homelessness is an emergency.

Next question was about the hotels bought to help chronically homeless people; McDermott noted that a small sales-tax increase was instituted to fund that, and that more than 1,000 units have been procured, with 1,600 the goal. Some are empty, McDermott said, because they don’t have enough staff to run them. But still, he said, up to 1,000 of the purchased-so-far 1,200 units are occupied. The labor shortage is indeed at least in part because human-service work pays poorly – 37 percent less than private-sector workers doing similar jobs, with similar skillsets, McDermott said.

PERFORMING ARTS CENTER: The discussion of homelessness likely could have lasted the entire meeting, but some guests had to interrupt because they could only stay for a short time – they’re from the Burien Actors Theatre, working toward creation of a Burien Performing and Visual Arts Center. Arts brings money into the local economy, declared Maggie Larrick. She tag-teamed with Eric Dickman, who said that they want to build a 300-seat center. Their many arguments in favor of the center included a study that communities with arts centers have less crime. They want to build it on a county-owned site near the parking structure in downtown Burien. Affordable housing could be built over the center, they explained. They’ve talked to Metro, which they say plans community meetings to talk about the site’s possibilities. Dickman and Larrick say they need “control” of the site – some kind of commitment – before they could start major fundraising. “We find this is a way to make art more accessible,” especially for South King County residents who don’t want to, or can’t, go all the way to Seattle, said Larrick. McDermott says he’s met with them before about the idea.

BACK TO CM McDERMOTT: The problem of graffiti vandalism was surfaced. If it’s not public property, it’s up to private-property owners to take care of it – but county workers can help if it’s OK with the property owners. John Taylor with the Department of Local Services said they do try to get to gang graffiti as fast as possible. Same goes with hate graffiti, McDermott added. Giba wondered what the Conservation Corps‘ responsibilities are. It’s a transitional work/housing program, currently with two 5-member crews, who are mostly deployed in the North Highline and Skyway areas. So how would private property vandalism be addressed/ It would be brought to the county’s attention, Taylor said, and then they’d try to get the property owner’s permission so they could handle it.

Shortly thereafter, McDermott noted that Deputy Glen Brannon will become the WC Storefront Deputy on July 1st, coming from patrol work in Burien. He described the deputy as “fantastic.” The deputy joined the meeting at that point in a brief prelude to his official appearance later. One attendee had asked if there was an increase in hate graffiti and he said if it’s seen, “we need to stamp that out yesterday.”

Giba then brought up the recurring issue of loud music from the recently opened Tim’s Tavern. She read email she’d received from one of the owners, acknowledging the concerns and explaining how they’re addressing them. That included use of decibel readers, closing at midnight and ending music at 11 pm, some Sunday and all Monday events being held in the building, installing noise-reduction curtains around the outdoor area. Giba said they told her they try to keep decibels to 80 at their parking lot, 93 closer in, but she said residential areas should be maxing out at 55. Dobkin said she’d never in all her years called in a noise complaint but the current situation is “unbearable”; but the KCSO resources weren’t able to respond. “It’s really interfered with our life – we can’t have our windows open,” she said. “It’s a problem.” Deputy Brannon said it’s important to keep calling 911 when you need to. He added, “I would take some consolation in that we have open communication now with the owners of the bar,’ and they can keep communicating.

Regarding criminal justice, Deputy Brannon said they basically can’t currently jail people for non-violent crimes but “we need to be able to.” McDermott said they’re still trying to balance the fact that jail “is not a therapeutic place” and they need “carrot and stick … not just the stick.” But if someone says they’re ready for treatment “we don’t have treatment on demand” available. He said the recently approved crisis-center levy is a “step in the right direction” but “there’s more work to be done.”

Giba next asked about the fireworks ban – last year was an “educational year” so this year, will there be enforcement? There’s no enforcement limitation this year, McDermott said, but it’s “not law enforcement, it’s code enforcement – citations mailed to people.” He noted that if there aren’t enough deputies to enforce things like noise ordinances, there aren’t enough to go around ticketing people for fireworks. He also noted that the fireworks ban’s big achievement so far is the end to sales in the local area. Giba said she understood but wondered how they’re getting the word out about fines, and if they are verifying complaints. Here’s the information Local Services reps provided:

Starting June 14, residents will be able to report violators to the King County Permitting Division:

Online by visiting (Users will have to sign up for our system)

Phone: 206-848-0800

No, code enforcement officers won’t be out on the streets, Taylor said – those means of reporting – online and phone – are what will lead to citations. (Video and photos can help.) Taylor added that a “significant amount of public education” is planned, and that people get one warning, so if somebody got a warning last year, this year they get a citation. Last year about 600 complaints came in – more than half in non-KC jurisdictions – and they ended up issuing “between 100 and 200 warning letters to people” after the 4th of July, just a few dozen after New Year’s. He thinks that ultimately this method will be more impactful, with $150 citations. “I’m optimistic,” he declared.

Dobkin then asked if the county can help NHUAC find meeting space so they can get back to in-person again. McDermott and Taylor promised to help brainstorm.

McDermott then warned that since the Legislature hasn’t taken a key tax-reform step, the county is looking at a big budget gap. But they’re fighting to keep even the unfilled funded positions and have not cut any storefront deputies. That led to …

DEPUTY BRANNON’S REPORT: He’s been with KCSO for eight years and says White Center “is a great place to be a police officer.” He said they’re seeing some worrisome trends – including a resurgence in gang activity, and there is a “bit of a gang war going on.” WC has ‘historically been everybody’s property in the gang world” but some gangs ‘coming up from out of the valley” are competing for it, an you might see their two-letter gangs. Five years ago, they managed to push them back down to South King County and get some people in jail, and they’re getting out. The Roxbury Lanes shooting was NOT random and was “kind of gang-related.” There’s been an arrest. “Two gentlemen got caught in a beef and two other people got caught in the crossfire.” That was brand-new news so we missed the last few minutes of the meeting while writing that up as a breaking story – KCSO had not disclosed the arrest earlier in the day, though the jail roster showed the suspect was taken into custody early in the morning, and we had even seen Sheriff Patti Cole-Tindall in person earlier in the evening (at the White Center Pride flag-raising).

NEXT MEETING: As noted above, it’s summer break – but we’re sure to get the announcement when NHUAC’s getting ready for the first meeting of fall.

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Here’s what’s planned for last North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meeting before summer break

May 29th, 2023 Tracy Posted in North Highline UAC, White Center news Comments Off on Here’s what’s planned for last North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meeting before summer break

It’s an easy way to connect to what’s happening in your community – set aside an hour and a half to join the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meeting online this Thursday! The announcement explains how:

The Opportunity to Be Informed, Be Involved, and Be Heard!

Where? North Highline Unincorporated Area Council Meeting

When? Thursday, June 1, 2023, at 7 pm

Join Zoom Meeting:

Meeting ID: 873 9166 6828
Passcode: NHUAC2023 (Case Sensitive)

Unable to join via Zoom? Please call: 253-215-8782
Meeting ID: 873 9166 6828
Passcode: 419924913

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Happy Pride Month! Before joining NHUAC’s last meeting before our summer break (June 1 @ 7 pm), King County Councilperson Joe McDermott will help kickoff the festivities at the White Center Pride Flag Raising Ceremony outside Mac’s Triangle Pub.

Please join our discussion with him, which is sure to cover his decades of experience in public office. Although history is important, it will not be our focus. We’ll discuss issues that face our North Highline community today, including:

– The lack of deputies;

– Homelessness and housing;

– The abundance of graffiti and

– Our lack of community greenspaces, which in addition to their beauty and positive effects on physical and mental health, help protect communities like North Highline from the damaging effects of climate change.

We’re also looking forward to voting on adding Brigett Vaughn to NHUAC’s board and hoping to meet White Center’s new Storefront Deputy – Glen Brannon!

Knowledge Is Power
Learn, share, and help make North Highline a healthier community.
June 1, 2023 at 7 pm – Invite Your Neighbors!

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Your property taxes explained @ May’s North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meeting

May 15th, 2023 Tracy Posted in North Highline UAC, White Center news Comments Off on Your property taxes explained @ May’s North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meeting

By Tracy Record
White Center Now editor

How exactly does the property tax process work? That’s part of what you would have learned if you’d attended this month’s North Highline Uncorporated Area Council meeting. In case you didn’t, we have toplines:

COUNTY ASSESSOR: John Wilson was first guest of the night. He noted that his office sets value for 720,000 parcels around the county. Last year, they had 9,000 valuation appeals. He explained the process of what goes into tax bills, and what goes into valuation.

Market sales are a strong factor in calculating residential values, for example.

They have to calculate 600 different levy codes including 150 different taxing districts. The taxes property owners pay go to a wide variety. Values calculated this year, for 2024 property taxes, are up 21 percent … while for this year’s taxes, values were up 6 percent. Here’s what taxes fund:

King County provides just under 50 percent of all state property tax revenue, he noted – followed by Snohomish, around 22 percent. More numbers: White Center valuations are up about 30 percent. That doesn’t mean your taxes are going up that much, though. 43 percent of your property-tax bill is voter-approved levies. 80 percent of property-tax revenue comes from homeowners – only 20 percent from commercial-property owners. (That’s inequitable, Wilson said, and would like to see it changed. “Homeowners and renters pay a disproportionate share of property taxes, and that ought to change.”)

Wilson also offered some education about the senior property-tax exemptions, and he talked about the changes in state law that will allow more to become – or remain – eligible for them.

That’ll mean even people with $72,000 household income will be eligible – up to 30,000 more households, he said. There’s also a deferral program, but someone eventually has to pay the taxes you deferred, either when you die or sell the house, for example. He noted a couple more relief bills that were proposed but didn’t make it through the Legislature. Later, he noted that the senior exemption program brings his office 1,200 calls a week. They have a backlog they hope to have remedied within three months or so.

In Q&A, he was asked, among other things, what happens with properties whose owners had tax exemption and then died. How does the Assessor’s Office find out? Tips are good, Wilson said, as they don’t have the staff to proactively keep verifying. What about when an exempt property becomes a rental? That too would be great to get a tip about, he said. Another attendee voiced the suspicion that renters vote for tax increases because they don’t think it’ll affect you. Property owners invariably pass the cost along in the rent they charge, Wilson assured her, and he thinks renters are aware of that. Another attendee who identified herself as a renter verified that.

Since zoning now allows multiple accessory dwelling units on properties, will that increase valuation even for those without them? Maybe over time, Wilson said, since valuations do have some relation to zoning. It mostly depends on how widespread that kind of construction becomes.

If one spouse qualifies by age but the other doesn’t, can they still apply? Wilson said yes.

NORTH SEA-TAC PARK: Sandy Hunt and Noemie Maxwell visited to talk about what they’re working on. They showed why they’re fighting for up to 100 forested acres that could be lost to airport expansion – they say trees are a vital factor in health outcomes.

They recapped their successful fight against losing some of the forest to an employee parking lot, then learning they weren’t out of the woods yet, so to speak. They talked about its environmental attributes, including a “true bog” and a creek. The area also is used for bicycling, disc golf, even rugby – it’s not “just” trees. They said that when homes were removed from the area decades ago, people were told the land would remain in “open public use.” There’s already been a lot of development – warehouses, for example.

Here’s what they’re fighting for:

How they’re going to get there, isn’t clear yet. There are “legal protections” they need to fight for, for example. But awareness is also big. Like the trees:

They’re collecting signatures here. They’re also open to speaking to other groups and helping with related advocacy. They also hope supporters will speak at Port Commission meetings. They might have to hold demonstrations, and that requires people-power. They’re not giving up and going away, is their message, even if and when attempts are made to assuage them by saying “no current plans.”

TIM’S TAVERN: NHUAC’s Barb Dobkin says she lives more than half a mile away but can hear the new venue’s nightly outdoor music in her home even with doors/windows closed. The state Liquor and Cannabis Board rep who usually attends NHUAC meetings said he had invited the operators to attend, though they didn’t show. He spoke with them about the sound levels and reported that they are working with their bands. But as another attendee from King County government, Michael Morales, noted, it’s a code issue, not an LCB issue. “What they’re doing is completely allowable in the business district.” Nonetheless, he said, they’ll look into it.

NEW BOARD MEMBER: The NHUAC board has another prospective new member – Brigitte introduced herself. “I want to be able to have a voice,” she declared. The vote on adding her to board will likely be taken next month.

SPEAKING OF WHICH … NHUAC meets first Thursdays most months, 7 pm, online, so June 1st is likely the next meeting.

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White Center’s deputy change, and what else is on the agenda for North Highline Unincorporated Area Council’s May meeting Thursday

May 1st, 2023 Tracy Posted in North Highline UAC, White Center news Comments Off on White Center’s deputy change, and what else is on the agenda for North Highline Unincorporated Area Council’s May meeting Thursday

The North Highline Unincorporated Area Council‘s monthly meeting is this Thursday (May 4th), 7 pm online. Here’s the agenda announcement:

The Opportunity to Be Informed, Be Involved and Be Heard!

Where? North Highline Unincorporated Area Council Meeting

When? Thursday, May 4, 2023, at 7 pm

Join Zoom Meeting:

Meeting ID: 894 3453 0620
Passcode: NHUAC2023 (Case Sensitive)

Unable to join via Zoom? Please call: 253-215-8782
Meeting ID: 894 3453 0620
Passcode: 060150115

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

NHUAC’s May 4th meeting will start with a changing of the guard. Last month we learned that Deputy Bill, White Center’s Storefront Deputy, would be retiring after 25 years with the King County Sheriff’s Office. It is now official; Deputy Bill has retired. However, his sense of community carries on. Bill will begin the meeting by introducing his successor, Deputy Glen. Join us in wishing Bill the best and welcoming Deputy Glen Brannon!

Property taxes, many of us pay them, whether we own or rent our homes. The amount of our taxes is directly related to the property’s assessed value. We’ll be joined by King County Assessor John Wilson to bring us up to date on the assessment process, possible exemptions, and other things pertinent to this substantial expenditure.

In addition to their beauty and positive effects on physical and mental health, greenspaces also help make communities like North Highline more livable by protecting them from the damaging effects of climate change. Last month, we learned from King County’s Dave Kimmett of an opportunity to purchase some property near Seola Pond. NHUAC, with the help of community member Sabina Beg, recently wrote a letter supporting the acquisition of those parcels. (Thanks, Sabina!) A few months ago, we submitted a letter in an effort to protect North SeaTac Park. This month Sandy Hunt and Noamie Maxwell will join us discuss that very worthwhile effort.

Deputy Glenn has been asked to make his first report to our community. We’re looking forward to that as well as hearing from Brigitte Vaughn, who has stepped forward to join NHUAC’s board.

Join us as we look to a future with the addition of new members and Deputy Glen!

Knowledge is power.

Learn, share, and help make North Highline a healthier community.

May 4, 2023 at 7 pm – Invite Your Neighbors!

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Power, greenery, and a retirement announcement @ North Highline Unincorporated Area Council’s April 2023 meeting

April 6th, 2023 Tracy Posted in North Highline UAC, White Center news 1 Comment »

By Tracy Record
White Center Now editor

Though not announced that way, this month’s North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meeting had a suitable agenda for Earth Month – with clean energy and greenspaces as the first two major topics:

SPARK NORTHWEST: Amy Bettle spoke from this nonprofit focused on a “clean energy transition.” They have a program called “Energize” that’s coming to unincorporated urban areas including White Center and Skyway. Its goal is to provide “energy-efficient electric heating and cooling,” via heat pumps, to supplement whatever recipients are using now. It will cover 100 percent of the costs for low-income households chosen to participate and 80 percent of the costs for moderate-income participants. They’re hoping to streamline the process that would lead to heat-pump installation. It starts with workshop attendance and then moves to getting a bid. The program also will support contractors who are women and/or people of color. Right now they have a “request for qualifications” open for HVAC contractors, and they’re recruiting community members to help them make the choices via participation in a selection committee this month. In May they’ll start sharing information about workshops that start in June, for prospective customers. Once the systems are in place, Bettle said, customers’ energy bills could be up to 60 percent lower. Committee members, meantime, will get a $450 stipend for the time they take to participate. What if it’s a renter household – would the income limits apply to the renter or the homeowner? The former, Bettle said, though landlords of course would have to be involved in approving the installation. Also of note, this isn’t limited to single-family housing – installation could be made in a multi-family unit too. Find out more about Energize here.

(WCN photo from Glendale Forest, 2020)

LAND CONSERVATION INITIATIVE: David Kimmett from this program was in attendance with an update. In North Highline, the focus is on “urban greenspace.” They want to create more of it “in a community like North Highline,” Kimmett said, because the benefits are manyfold – including physical and mental health. Three acquisitions completed in recent years were Glendale Forest (five acres with a stream, and they’re working on adding a trail, which will require a bridge over the stream), a “small property at White Center Heights,” and “a property next to Dick Thurnau Park.” He recapped each of those three. He talked about restoration work, such as extensive ivy removal in Glendale Forest. At the Dick Thurnau Park-adjacent site, acquired ,ecently, the intent is to support the upcoming HUB project with more of a greenspace buffer. It has a house (currently boarded up) that’ll be torn down, and will extend the park out to 108th, Kimmett said. About the WC Heights acquisition, he said, the site already was bordering on county land on three sides, and had a house that’s been removed, with restoration soon to begin. He then talked about hoped-for future acquisitions, like some property along Duwamish River-feeding Hamm Creek, It’s a steep ravine that’s not developable but can be restored into a “healthy urban forest,” Kimmett believes. Not suitable for trails, but a step toward their “conservation goals.” He’s also interested in some land that’s currently church-owned in an unincorporated area of Arbor Heights, near Seola Pond (which already is county-owned). Kimmett hopes the kind of community-involved restoration that’s been done at Seola Pond can expand onto these potential acquisition sites. He’s now “raising funds to acquire these” – a process that can “only be done onca a year” – so he’s seeking support. That fundraising is done through the Land Conservation Initiative – which has a committee to review such proposals – he clarified in response to a question. How can community members show support? he then was asked. Kimmett said he needs “community support from organizations,” writing letters of support. NHUAC board members and attendees subsequently voted unanimously to write a letter of support. An attendee from a group that does a lot of restoration work further south in the county said she’ll see about having her group write a letter too, and a White Center Kiwanis rep said the same. Asked about the time frame, Kimmett said, “ASAP” – by the end of the month, at the latest. Kimmett’s appearance concluded with some brainstorming about possible future acquisition sites.

CRIME/LAW ENFORCEMENT: Deputy Bill Kennamer is retiring at month’s end after 25 years. Three deputies applying for his White Center community position were in attendance and Kennamer called them (and other applicants) “really good cops.” The interviews are next Monday, he said. Meantime, he said crime took a big drop – major crimes and other kinds – in the past month. “We had a good month last month,” Kennamer summarized. Some notable incidents – gunfire in front of Roxy’s, an attempted child kidnapping outside Seola Gardens, an accidental self-inflicted gunshot wound, armed robbery at the Boulevard Park 7-11, a strong-arm street robbery. “Auto thefts are through the roof, auto recoveries are through the roof,” he added. Kennamer also was asked about the bust – which he led – that resulted in a big haul of stolen guns; he said the Top Hat building where it happened has some evictions in the works. He also mentioned a few other things: On April 22nd, KCSO will participate in a “Coffee with the Community” event at the White Center Starbucks. The burned-out building on the west side of 16th is getting extensive redevelopment, he added, and the former Bizzarro site will become a coffee shop and pizza parlor. NHUAC invited Deputy Kennamer to come by post-retirement and say hi any time.

NEW BOARD MEMBER: Amelia says she’s excited “to be more involved in the community” by joining the NHUAC board. She was added by a unanimous vote.

COMMUNITY DINNER: White Center Kiwanis is presenting a steak dinner 5-7 pm April 21st at the White Center Eagles’ HQ. Vegetarian option too (portabella mushroom). They’re fundraising for their work with youth.

NEXT MEETING: NHUAC usually meets on first Thursdays, 7 pm, online, so the next meeting should be Thursday, May 4th. (They’re still hoping to find someplace to resume in-person meetings.)

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Here’s what you’ll learn at April’s North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meeting

April 2nd, 2023 Tracy Posted in North Highline UAC, White Center news Comments Off on Here’s what you’ll learn at April’s North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meeting

Announced today by the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council, for Thursday’s meeting:

The Opportunity to Be Informed, Be Involved, and Be Heard!

Where: North Highline Unincorporated Area Council Meeting
When: Thursday, April 6, 2023 @ 7 pm

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 824 5445 6397
Passcode: NHUAC2023 (Case Sensitive)

Unable to join via Zoom? Please call: 253 215 8782
Meeting ID: 824 5445 6397
Passcode: 989947391

At last month’s meeting we introduced Amelia, a North Highline resident who works at a local business and responded to February’s announcement that we are looking for people to join NHUAC’s board. Thursday’s NHUAC meeting will begin with a formal vote on Amelia’s addition to NHUAC. Join us as we look to NHUAC’s future with the addition of new members.

Are you interested in saving money? Are you concerned about pollution and climate change? Have you heard about Spark Northwest, the non-profit that has helped thousands of homeowners, farmers, tribes, and low-income communities switch to clean energy? At our April 6th meeting, NHUAC will be joined by Amy Bettle, Project Manager at Spark Northwest. Amy will share information about her organization’s contract with King County to bring energy efficient heat pumps to hundreds of residents of North Highliner Highline and Skyway.

In addition to their beauty, parks also help make communities like North Highline more livable by protecting them from the damaging effects of climate change. NHUAC recently wrote a letter supporting an effort to protect North SeaTac Park. It said, in part: “We are writing to urge you to…permanently protect and perpetuate this park… North SeaTac Park offers rare access to nature…. our physical, emotional, and community health are tied to accessible green spaces…Urban green spaces provide critical habitat and land upon which air and surface water pollutants are filtered. They also mitigate the urban heat island effect. North SeaTac Park is a collective natural backyard for those of us not fortunate enough to have one….” Please join NHUAC and King County’s David Kimmett, who has been working on adding much needed greenspace to North Highline.

Knowledge is power.

Learn, share, and help make North Highline a healthier community.

April 6, 2023 at 7 pm – Invite Your Neighbors!

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From nonviolence to neighborhood tidiness, here’s what happened at North Highline Unincorporated Area Council’s March 2023 meeting

March 2nd, 2023 Tracy Posted in North Highline UAC, White Center news Comments Off on From nonviolence to neighborhood tidiness, here’s what happened at North Highline Unincorporated Area Council’s March 2023 meeting

By Tracy Record
White Center Now editor

As always, the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council tackled a variety of topics during its monthly meeting, held online earlier tonight. And by meeting’s end, NHUAC’s board had grown by one. Here’s how it all unfolded:

ALTERNATIVES TO VIOLENCE PROJECT: First guest was Sandy Hunt from the Highline Education Association to talk about the Alternatives to Violence Project, “bringing nonviolent solutions to resolving conflicts” in the community. This will include some afterschool programming. Hunt said she first heard about the program six years ago and now they’ve been offering training to teachers since Decembers. “Schools are just one piece of the ecosystem,” so they want to spread this to the greater community. She explained the project:

She said it’s been effective in building relationships and conferring skills. It’s also a youth development project, and the Cultures United soccer team is involved too. It’s taught in a weekend-long workshop, Friday nights plus all day Saturdays and Sundays:

Facilitators can choose from 400 activities to customize for each group. “It’s really about taking people’s stories, stories of conflict, and transforming those stories into one in which instead of expecting the worst, people expect the best,” she said. They have workshops in the area later this month:

Go here to find out more/register.

KING COUNTY PERMITTING/CODE ENFORCEMENT: Jim Chan, permitting division director, introduced Tom Campbell, the new code-enforcement manager, who came from a similar job in Bellevue about two months ago; he spent 15 years there after 10 years in the Seattle Fire Marshal’s office. NHUAC had asked for an update on certain properties; they obliged, with updates on 10 properties. Campbell began with a vacant property in the 9600 block of 15th SW; he said that’s basically “been a parking lot .. for several years.” It’s been inspected twice, with no further action; he said the county has to prioritize, depending on what danger a site poses. This was considered the lowest priority, Priority 3, so the case was closed. (He explained later that they have to prioritize because of limited funding.) NHUAC’s Barbara Dobkin took exception with the county rep’s description as a “parking lot”; she said it’s “more like an impound lot.” Campbell said that also qualifies as “vehicle storage.” Dobkin said, “It’s baffling to me that we have what looks like an impound lot in the heart of our business district … is that use allowed for it?” Campbell said he would check; “it wasn’t viewed as an unpermittied use.” Next, a house (we didn’t catch the address) with numerous vehicles parked as well as overgrowth. It was considered for a referral to abatement but then the number of vehicles on the property went down to two and action was put on hold; last year there was a fireworks complaint, and a letter was sent. Neighbors of the property said there’s only one inoperable vehicle there now but it’s stuffed with trash, which is also piling up around the property, attracting rodents and other wildlife. Discussion then veered into other concerns about the house, including whether it’s being undervalued/undertaxed. It was suggested they invite a guest from the King County Assessor’s Office to discuss such issues.

Next, the 21st SW property where a man was shot and killed by Seattle Police serving a warrant in August 2021. Dobkin said its renters “left shortly after that” but the property was in bad shape and people kept breaking in. Its owner subsequently cleaned it up, Dobkin said – and dumped the detritus in the park across the street. The house is still not secure, she said. Campbell explained why the homeowner couldn’t be cited if there was no direct evidence that she had done the dumping.

Then a property in the 10400 block of 22nd SW – they’re in the process of abating the property, Campbell said. They’ve been trying for years to work with this family, he said, and now they’re getting estimates on cleanup costs, to address the property and right of way, including vehicles in which people are living, They’re also working with Animal Services. “This time we’ll be cleaning up the entire property and assessing the condition of the house,” Campbell said. The house might have to be declared uninhabitable. But even if it is, “we can’t keep them from living in their vehicles,” he said, but they’re looking at a “social service intervention.” He added, “Any hoarding situation is difficult to deal with” – including for those who hoard. Could the house be ordered torn down? “That’s not an action the county takes lightly,” especially in these days with so many people houseless, Campbell said.

10600 block 22nd SW – this too is in the abatement-planning process, and the operation might happen at the same time as the previously mentioned one – “at least the exterior cleanups.” One site on Myers Way did have a few past cases involving an accessory structure; concerns about a huge stack of pallets were raised. Four properties on the list – including one owned by the county – had no code-enforcement cases on record, Campbell said, so he had nothing to report; one property had a recurrence of past problems.

Campbell explained that code enforcement is complaint-based, so if someone hasn’t complained about something/someplace, it’s not likely to be on their radar. “We can’t be out at every property 24/7 … real-time reporting by the people living in the neighborhoods (matters).”

On another matter, NHUAC’s Liz Giba mentioned the problematic hookah lounge had moved out. But she’s wondering about the new tenant and its use of a basement. Chan said, “We’ve reached out to them” about what’s needed and promised to “run by and take a look.” Dobkin also wondered about noise issues from music planned nightly at the future Tim’s Tavern (ex-Drunky Two Shoes). Chan said there’s nuisance noise, which is up to the King County Sheriff’s Office, not the permitting division. The Liquor and Cannabis Board rep in attendance said they’ve applied for a liquor license with entertainment, and that the local authority – King County – had been notified, with 20 days to respond if there are concerns.

NEW BOARD MEMBER: Amelia C, a Top Hat resident, answered the recent call for new board members. She works at Moonshot Coffee in White Center. “I love it here and I want to see this place become the vibrant place it can be.” She was added to the board by acclamation. They’re still open to new members, added Dobkin. “It’s a great way to be involved in the community” – the organization’s been active since 1996.

COMMUNITY ANNOUNCEMENTS: Bill Tracy from White Center Kiwanis said they’re having a steak/portabella mushroom dinner on Friday, April 21st, 5 pm at the White Center Eagles‘ aerie, dinner and music – 206-248-2441 to reserve tickets, $35 for one, $60 for two.

NHUAC meets first Thursday most months, 7 pm, online – check between meetings for updates.

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THURSDAY: Here’s who will be at this month’s North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meeting

February 27th, 2023 Tracy Posted in North Highline UAC, White Center news Comments Off on THURSDAY: Here’s who will be at this month’s North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meeting

The announcement from NHUAC leaders:

The Opportunity to Be Informed, Be Involved and Be Heard!

Where? North Highline Unincorporated Area Council Meeting

When? Thursday, March 2, 2023, at 7 pm

Join Zoom Meeting: Click here

Meeting ID: 844 1007 4134
Passcode: NHUAC2023 (Case Sensitive)

Unable to join via Zoom? Please call: 253-215-8782
Meeting ID: 844 1007 4134
Passcode: 598963166

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=Thursday’s NHUAC meeting will include introducing Amelia, a North Highline resident who also works at a local business. Amelia responded to last month’s announcement that we are looking for people to join NHUAC’s board. The current NHUAC members will vote on Amelia’s membership at NHUAC’s April 6thmeeting. Join us as we look to NHUAC’s future with the addition of new members.

We will also be joined by Sandy Hunt, president of the Highline Teachers Association. The association is working to end violence and promote economic and social justice in the Highline School District. The future of North Highline rests with our young people and NHUAC looks forward to hearing from Sandy.

Jim Chan, King County’s Director of Permitting, has also been asked to join us. The Code Enforcement Division falls under Permitting and we understand it has a new leader, Tom Campbell, who will also be joining us. See you Thursday at 7 pm!

Knowledge is power.

Learn, share, and help make North Highline a healthier community.

March 2, 2023 at 7 pm – Invite Your Neighbors!

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The many faces of community health, at 2023’s first North Highline Unincorporated Area Council

February 8th, 2023 Tracy Posted in North Highline UAC, White Center news Comments Off on The many faces of community health, at 2023’s first North Highline Unincorporated Area Council

By Tracy Record
White Center Now editor

Deep dives into two important agencies/programs – the King County Sheriff’s Office and LEAD – comprised most of the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council‘s first meeting of 2023, online last Thursday. The meeting was focused on “the health of North Highline,” as NHUAC’s Liz Giba put it. It began with guests from KCSO.

UNDERSHERIFF JESSE ANDERSON: He began by acknowledging the Memphis murder of Tyre Nichols. “There are so many things I could say about the officers who were involved, but none of it is good.” He called Mr. Nichols’s death “a preventable loss of life.” He also insisted that KCSO’s culture “is nothing like” what happened in Memphis. “There’s definitely a cultural problem in that agency that we don’t have.” He said even the name of the team – now disbanded – that the officers were part of, SCORPION, was shocking and unbelievable. He then segued into the importance of thoroughly screening KCSO applicants, “even if that means we carry large numbers of vacancies for quite some time … We must be very diligent.”

On to the state of KCSO: “We’ve made significant steps forward, especially last year, with hiring more people, setting up a recruiting plan … We are really leading the way in our area for numbers of hires.” There are currently 112 vacancies. He said some new reruits are due out of the academy in spring. The vacancies are spread throughout the department: “We’re all sharing in the pain.” Training efforts are a challenge with 750 “commissioned people,” but KCSO is looking for opportunities wherever they can be found – de-escalation, active-bystander training (teaching officers that if their partners are “crossing a line … they have a duty to intervene to stop that”), and more.

Giba asked where recruitment efforts are focused – geographically, for example. “We go everywhere we can,” replied Anderson. “We’re all over looking for those opportunities for recruitment.” An attendee asked if deputies could be shown and named online; the reply was that some departments have had an issue with ID theft when trying that. For now, if you’re looking to contact a specific deputy, call your nearest precinct.

Anderson also said they’re working to form the Community Advisory Board that new Sheriff Patti Cole-Tindall announced, and said they’ve had a good number of applicants so far. “We’re looking forward to this,” he said of the future group.

Other attendee questions included Block Watch activity and concerns about gunfire activity suspected to be involved with a hookah lounge. An adjacent business owner wanted to know, “Is there anything going on with that establishment … that’s going to make the situation any safer?” Deputy Bill Kennamer said, “Yes,” and mentioned permitting and other investigations under way. “It is number one on my list of things and I’ve been working to get the place legally shut down … if they can’t control their business and the people surrounding their business … then it becomes a nuisance business.” The nearby business owner said that he’s worried on Friday and Saturday nights that “bullets are going to come through the wall.” Local Services director John Taylor affirmed that they’re working on a variety of fronts. Various discussion of potential logistics ensued. The business owner concluded, “It’s very reassuring to hear (this is) very much on the radar.”

Another attendee brought up fireworks, which became illegal in unincorporated King County as of last year. He said his neighborhood becomes “World War III” around the 4th of July. What’s the plan to deter it? he asked. Taylor fielded the question. He agreed it’s a serious problem – “it isn’t just lighthearted fun” – with the deadly fire just a few years ago. Last year they just did warnings, he recapped, but they’ve set up a system for reporting violations; last year they got more than 700 complaints. They sent letters to them all this past year, with warnings. They had about as third that many complaints on New Year’s Eve. If they get a complaint again this year for somebody who got a warning this year, they’ll face a penalty. “Anyone who sets off fireworks is going to get contacted by us,” Taylor promised. Deputy Kennamer pointed out that the retail outlets are already gone, so that means far less availability.

The next KCSO guest was Major Mark Konoske, local precinct commander. He talked about oversight – reporting misconduct and how it’s investigated, with an independent agency getting involved. Giba then asked how he’s dealing with the new role. Lots of calls for service, and it gives them a sense of purpose – “very fulfilling,” he said. He had previous experience in the precinct, two, including as a sergeant, and then briefly as an interim chief of Burien Police. He also introduced Community Service Officer Nate Hammock, who’s been a CSO since August. “What I do is provide non-law enforcement services to the community … (as a) relief to deputies … I’m not a law-enforcement officer,” but he can certainly handle questions about law enforcement. Don’t call him if there’s an emergency. “What we do is respond to, most commonly, found property … I’ve returned a lot of stuff recently. ” He can also check residences by request when people go out of town, give presentations on safety to schools and churches, and drive around to serve as a deterrent. He recently helped White Center Heights Elementary improve crosswalk visibility. “I’m just trying to be proactive.” CSO’s also plan and attend community events (“Shop With a Cop” was one example he gave).

LEAD: Project manager Aaron Burkhalter for North Highline and Burien headed up a big delegation at the meeting. He said the program’s now more than a decade old, having started in Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood, as a better way of dealing with people “cycling over and over again” into and out of the jail system. They help clients with a variety of services and resources. “What are their long-term goals?” is one question with which they deal with clients. “The program has expanded internationally” and now operates in all of Seattle’s precincts. They often get referrals from law-enforcement officers like Deputy Kennamer. LEAD is “pre-arrest diversion” but ideally they will be able to work with people long before it gets to the arrest stage.

A year and a half has now passed since LEAD started working in White Center. Burkhalter said they currently are working actively with 3 people and are trying to establish relationships with more than 20 others. He said LEAD has a “secret sauce” in getting people to sit down together – from social workers to law-enforcement officers to prosecutors – to talk about the clients. “The people we work with have legal involvement,” maybe cases, maybe warrants, maybe regular law-enforcement contact. Asked by Giba about whether LEAD represents clients in court, Burkhalter said no, but LEAD does have a legal team that “jumps in” on occasion with a complicated case, and case managers can provide support and clarity when the court matter relates to the work they’re doing with a client.

Burkhalter also clarified that LEAD is “not a homelessness program … it’s a public-safety program,” though housing is of course an issue for many of their clients, “and that’s why the case-management piece of this is so critical.”

Next to speak was Aleczandria Jamerson, a program manager in the area. She spoke of their work establishing trust and building relationships with clients and other community members. She stressed that they’re working with people who are suffering – yes, their actions have effects on the community, but it’s important to understand where their clients are coming from – “the various traumas they’re dealing with on a daily basis can really affect their progress.”

It was also explained that “this is taxpayer-funded work.”

Case manager Khalil Butler introduced himself. “I’m out there with my feet on the ground three to five days a week.”
Senior case manager Reese followed, the senior case manager for Community Passageways through LEAD, joining the agency about a month and a half ago. Shanisse, also a relatively new arrival via Community Passageways, is focusing on the Recovery Navigator Program. Giba asked what percentage of the people they deal within in White Center “have a drug problem.’ Answer: “100 percent … that often presents with co-occurring things like mental and behavioral crises that they’re going through at one time.” Is decriminalizing drugs a healthy approach? Giba asked. Aleczandria said they come from a “harm reduction” approach. She says that many of them had a life event that triggered this – they did not start with drug addiction, they had, perhaps a mental health crisis, and now substances help them cope with what their living situations are. So decriminalizing drugs is a complicated issue. “If we begin to address what their basic needs are, then maybe we can begin to prevent … worse behaviors. … In an ideal world we’ll talk about deflection rather than diversion.” That means getting to the root of the problem rather than just treating “the symptoms.” Butler said that “positive change isn’t something you can force on people ,.. they have to want to.” And meeting their needs first is a more successful approach. “I would challenge anybody in this room to sleep for one night on the concrete in 25-degree weather sober.” One attendee asked how they connect, because he’s seen people suffering on the street and is at a loss to figure out what to do. They get referrals, Aleczandria said, but they also are out in White Center all the time. They might offer a sandwich to make a connection and explain themselves, offer their card, so the people they meet can reach out when they’re ready. She also noted that some people refuse shelter because they’ve had horrible experiences at shelters, which aren’t always safe. The LEAD people build relationships and do a “warm handoff” when the people they’re dealing with are ready. They also know that “today may look very different from tomorrow” for people in need. They “chip away” at the barriers keeping people from moving into something better – ID, a phone, etc.

NORTH HIGHLINE CRIME UPDATES: Deputy Kennamer said Part 1 crimes are at the lowest they’ve been in January in several years (*47). There’ve been two homicides in recent weeks, and a shooting the previous night, One homicide was a stabbing – we don’t know where it started but the victim got onto a bus in Greenbridge, took the bus to St. Anthony’s, they transferred him to Harborview and he died there. They think he might have been living in an encampment near Westcrest Park. Then there was a domestic violence stabbing in the 400 block of SW 110th – the suspect was arrested and booked that night. The most recent shooting victim – Wednesday night on 8th Place – is expected to live, but it’s an open/active case, so the deputy didn’t have additional information. NHUSC’s Barbara Dpbkin noted an increase in graffiti vandalism; Kennamer said there’s definitely an uptick in “Latino gang graffiti.” The county does not have a law requiring property owners to clean it up.

NHUAC BOARD NEEDS MEMBERS: Want to get involved? Contact NHUAC!

NEXT MEETING: NHUAC meets most first Thursdays, 7 pm, online until they find an in-person meeting place again.

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King County Sheriff’s Office and LEAD in the spotlight at 2023’s first North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meeting

January 29th, 2023 Tracy Posted in King County Sheriff's Office, North Highline UAC, White Center news Comments Off on King County Sheriff’s Office and LEAD in the spotlight at 2023’s first North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meeting

Just announced for Thursday (February 2nd):

The Opportunity to Be Informed, Be Involved and Be Heard!

Where? North Highline Unincorporated Area Council Meeting

When? Thursday, February 2, 2023, at 7 pm

The death of Tyre Nichols, the young father who died as the result of a traffic stop in Memphis, is heartbreaking and points to the importance of police knowing the communities they are sworn to serve and protect.

Deputy Bill Kennamer of the King County Sheriff’s Office is a regular participant in NHUAC meetings because he is an important member of the North Highline community. This month we are going to expand the public safety discussion. Deputy Bill will be joined by:

Undersheriff Jesse Anderson
Precinct 4 Commander Major Mark Konoske
Community Service Officer Nate Hammock

For the past 4 years, KCSO has supported the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) a/k/a “Let Everyone Advance with Dignity” program in North Highline. At a 2019 NHUAC meeting, then-Major Anderson said: “The bottom line is, we want people to turn their lives around.… It’s a great tool, like many other resources we bring in.”

To update us on LEAD’s work, we will also be joined by Reese Abram and Tanisha Davis-Doss of King County LEAD and Aaron Burkhalter, LEAD Program Manager with the Public Defenders Association.

Knowledge is power: Learn, share, and help make North Highline a healthier community.

February 2, 2023 at 7 pm – Invite Your Neighbors!

Join Zoom Meeting:

Meeting ID: 817 6325 0231
Passcode: NHUAC2023 (Case Sensitive)

Unable to join via Zoom? Please call 253-215-8782

Meeting ID: 817 6325 0231
Passcode: 155949808

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

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REMINDER: No North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meeting this month

January 2nd, 2023 Tracy Posted in North Highline UAC, White Center news 3 Comments »

Quick reminder – while the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meets on first Thursdays most months, it’s not having a January meeting, so this Thursday’s calendar is clear. Next NHUAC meeting will be 7 pm Thursday, February 2nd, online – watch for the preview when it gets closer.

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Here’s what happened @ North Highline Unincorporated Area Council’s last meeting of 2022

December 8th, 2022 Tracy Posted in North Highline UAC, White Center news Comments Off on Here’s what happened @ North Highline Unincorporated Area Council’s last meeting of 2022

By Tracy Record
White Center Now editor

The North Highline Unincorporated Area Council tackled a variety of topics in its last 2022 meeting, held online last Thursday night. Two scheduled guests weren’t able to attend due to illness, so the meeting ran shorter than usual. NHUAC’s Barbara Dobkin facilitated.

DEPARTMENT OF LOCAL SERVICES: Director John Taylor was the night’s spotlight guest. He has led the department since it was created four years ago “to do a better job of being a municipal government for unincorporated King County” – in which a quarter-million people live, in “a huge geographical area.” He had a variety of updates – the county’s first participatory budgeting round, which split $10 million among five areas, with decisions made by a group with representatives of each area (including 5 from White Center/North Highline). This area got about $3 million, in turn spread among about a dozen programs. “Project awards are in the process of going on right now.” (We covered the funding announcement here.) He says the newly adopted county budget has another $10 million for the next participatory-budgeting round and the county will again look for community members to get involved. “It’s an opportunity to get real money into the community.”

Other budget items of note – the Conservation Corps will continue in White Center and expand to other unincorporated areas – “removing graffiti, picking up litter … at least a couple days a week.’ Economic-development work will continue too. He noted that “community-needs lists” were used to prioritize spending this time around. Overall, he said, the unincorporated areas were dealt with more reactively than proactively, but the “needs lists” moved them toward the latter. The budget is a “good start” toward responding to many of those needs, in Taylor’s view. He sees the past and future lists a “great way” to communicate to government officials what you need from them.

Also: The Subarea Plan was about to go to the County Council for a final vote. Passage will be followed by implementation of zoning changes among other things. WC is part of an “urban growth area” and that means it needs to densify and make room for more people, he says, but he believes the plan does a good job of “keeping White Center, White Center” and minimizing displacement. If the plan has unintended consequences, “we’ll adjust – we do a good job of that.”

He then invited questions. Taylor was asked what’s up with 16th/107th, where the road is in bad shape. He advised reporting it to, which will lead to a service request and a road supervisor going out for a look. Dobkin asked about the recent Smoke Town fire (for which a suspect has been charged, as we’ve reported) and how businesses are being helped, including those damaged by last year’s fires. Economic-recovery specialist Michael Morales from the county said a special district was drawn up for that area and businesses were eligible for $60,000 grants that can be applied to expenses from related losses. He said those awards will be going out before year’s end. Regarding Smoke Town, he said county reps were there the day after the fire and are working with the store’s owner. They’ve had 58 out of about 80 eligible businesses in the area apply for the grants. They expect to have some leftover money to be “reappropriated.”

Other questions/concerns included difficulty reaching people to resolve problems, and then a specific question about three parcels “missed in the process” of rezoning – a “missed opportunity” as the attendee described it. The question was asked by a person who owns one of the parcels and spoke about it at a recent County Council meeting, And that’s who would have to take action, Taylor said, via a “line amendment.” Taylor recapped the many months over which the plan had been reviewed and said that it seems a little late in the process to get those parcels added to the plan. So he said about all the attendee could do would be continuing to push individual councilmembers in hopes that maybe one could sponsor an amendment. That led to a side discussion about how the results of the forthcoming rezoning would be monitored. And, Taylor was asked, will there be any funding for sidewalks in higher-density rezoned areas? That’s usually a requirement for developers, Taylor said, though he also noted that some. of the participatory-budgeting money went toward new sidewalks in Skyway.

Dobkin then had a concern about Code Enforcement not responding to concerns. Taylor said the county code was written a long time ago “with a property-rights focus” so it’s easy for “bad actors … to ignore us.” Their tools are generally restricted to “paltry fines.” He hopes that people will remember that in “every single one of these cases … there’s a person attached to it,” maybe a hoarder dealing with mental illness, for example.

Another question was about the new tenant at the former Taradise Café location and what kind of progress they’re making (it’s been a year since we first mentioned them). The county reps had no specifics but “we’re hopeful it’s going to be a very different experience than the community had under previous ownership.” Eric Thomas from the Liquor and Cannabis Board said its liquor license has been issued and that what he found online indicated it might open by year-end, The county reps also added that the fire-damaged deli on the west side of 16th is close to a permit for repairs.

What about the microhousing project? No new info. Anything new with a problematic hookah lounge? The LCB’s Thomas did not have an update on the investigation, The formerly closed cannabis business on 1st has reopened but with limited hours.

HOLIDAY EVENT: White Center Santa Con is coming up December 10th.

ELECTION RESULTS: Shoutout to the Evergreen High School Key Club for doorbelling 1,500 residences to campaign for the Highline Public Schools bond.

REMEMBERING STEVE COX: December 2nd marked 16 years since the deputy and North Highline community champion was killed in the line of duty.

IN-PERSON MEETINGS: Dobkin said they just can’t find a place “that works” – the North Highline Fire District HQ, former in-person meeting site, “won’t be available until after the summer.” So they’ll continue on Zoom until further notice. No January meeting, so NHUAC’s next meeting is in February, first Thursday at 7 pm as usual, February 2nd.

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Start your December with North Highline Unincorporated Area Council’s last 2022 meeting

November 27th, 2022 Tracy Posted in North Highline UAC, White Center news 3 Comments »

On the first night of December, the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council hosts its last meeting of 2022. Here’s why you’ll want to join in:

North Highline Unincorporated Area Council Meeting – Zoom meeting

When: Thursday, Dec 1, 2022 @ 7 pm

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 830 2403 8714
Passcode: NHUAC2022 (Case Sensitive)

Join by Phone:
253 215 8782
Meeting ID: 830 2403 8714
Passcode: 738468041

Mark your calendars and plan on joining the discussion at NHUAC’s December 1st meeting. As noted at our November meeting, we were hoping to secure a site to end the year with an in person gathering. Unfortunately, we have not been able to locate a suitable room, so for the time being we will continue to meet via zoom.

The last two years have been interesting and challenging. We would like to extend a big thanks to all who continue to sign on to the monthly meetings and stay involved in community issues. Even though we have not been together in person, we have managed to stay connected and are grateful for the support you all have shown. Our goal is to keep the community informed, involved, and to give a voice to the decisions that impact our North Highline community.

With that said, we are pleased this month to welcome the Director of the Department of Local Services, John Taylor. The Department of Local Services was established in 2018 to better meet the needs of unincorporated King County and is the “go-to agency” for the unincorporated communities. John will provide information as well as take questions regarding permitting, code enforcement, and roads, to name a few.

We are also happy to have Bong Santo Domingo, Program Manager/Community Liaison, to provide updates and information regarding community issues.

Deputy Bill Kennamer will also join us with an update from the Sheriff’s Office.

Also of note:

On Tuesday, November 22nd, the King County Council held a public hearing on the proposed 2022 update to the King County Comprehensive Plan. This followed 8 months of Council review of the plan, which includes the Skyway-West Hill Subarea Plan and the North Highline Subarea Plan. The Council will consider the testimony received, and potentially take action at the December 6, 2022 meeting.

“The King County Comprehensive Plan is the guiding policy document for land use and development regulations in unincorporated King County, and for regional services throughout the County including transit, sewers, parks, trails, and open space.”

It is important to note that The North Highline Subarea Plan includes dramatic zoning increases in several of the residential North Highline Neighborhoods. NHUAC devoted several monthly meetings with county planners regarding the proposed changes. If you were not able to attend any of these informative NHUAC meetings and would like to review the plans you can find a thorough report on NHUAC’s April meeting at here.

If you would like information on the King County Council meetings, click here.

We look forward to seeing everyone – Thursday, December 1, 7 pm

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Money, microhousing, more @ North Highline Unincorporated Area Council’s November meeting

November 3rd, 2022 Tracy Posted in North Highline UAC, White Center news 4 Comments »

By Tracy Record
White Center Now editor

Here’s what happened at tonight’s monthly meeting of the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council, held online:

CRIME STATS/TRENDS: Community Deputy Bill Kennamer spoke of some “pretty ugly crime trends.” Robberies totaled 40 this time last year, 72 so far this year – “an 80 percent increase – definitely a problem.” Weapons violations are up 65 percent. “Simple assaults” (lower level of injury) are up 40 percent – from 162 to 229. Drug offenses are up 110 percent – “we are seeing less and less hypodermic needle action, but an absolute ton of fentanyl smoking going on.” He believe that’s the reason for an increase in overdoses. If you have family or friends who use drugs, get Narcan just in case. “It works. … it keeps people alive.” He said there’s “some good news on the drug front” – a special-emphasis team in the precinct did a raid yesterday that got $5.5 million in drugs off the street. He couldn’t say where but the raid was executed by “precinct-level detectives.” Deputy Kennamer said today’s garage fire was in a garage used as a residence by the adult son of the adjacent homeowner. The resident went to the hospital with smoke inhalation (that’s an update from our earlier coverage). Asked about staffing, Deputy Kennamer said what’s happening now is “a staffing crisis.” They have the openings and the funding, both Kennamer and King County Councilmember Joe McDermott agreed, they just don’t have the people applying and training to fill them.

COUNCILMEMBER McDERMOTT: He’s budget chair this year. The first vote on the proposed “striking amendment” – which will go public tomorrow, with councilmembers’ proposed changes to King County Executive Dow Constantine‘s budget proposal – is planned one week from today. First, per the previous discussion, he wanted to emphasize that King County “has NOT defunded the police.” The alternative programs it has supported/will supported are in addition to law enforcement, not instead of. “We’re doing innovative things, responding to some issues (for alternative public safety),” but not proposing cuts in law enforcement. The proposed two-year budget was almost %16 billion, he said. That includes revenues collected for a specific purpose that must be spent for a specific purpose. Property tax revenue is limited to a 1 percent increase year by year, but “even in a good year” expenses go up more than one percent, so there’s what they call “a structural gap.”

His budget priorities in general include: public safety, law-enforcement oversight, rider experience in transit, firearm safety, promoting helmet use, supporting the White Center Food Bank as it moves to its new location, affordable-housing investments, more money for participatory budgeting, Narcan availability, and more. Public comment can be given in-person or online at next Thursday’s budget meeting; the budget then goes to the full council on November 15th.

In Q&A, clarification was requested on the 1 percent cap. It’s the maximum percentage by which county revenue can go up – so just because your valuation goes up X percent doesn’t mean what you owe will go up that much – it’s a cap on what the county can collect. Why does the county rely so heavily on property taxes? McDermott explained that property and sales taxes are the main sources approved by the Legislature – even cities have more options for raising revenue. Subsequent discussion involved how much revenue was and wasn’t being spent on/in North Highline – there’s no specific breakdown by geography within the county budget, said McDermott. He also reminded everyone that while the county collects property taxes, it’s just the treasurer – only a fraction of what you pay actually goes to King County.

On other topics: Councilmember McDermott had an update on the Subarea Plan; legislation won committee approval in July, and a full-council public hearing will be at 1 pm November 22nd – online or in-person – and you can comment via email too: He talked about some refinements that are being proposed. NHUAC’s Barbara Dobkin asked about inclusionary zoning and whether it was really right for North Highline – something Seattle’s been doing for several years – and McDermott said it should lead to a greater variety of housing availability. NHUAC’s Liz Giba voiced concern that the Subarea Plan documentation had only recently appeared online but had been otherwise in existence for months. She read some criticism attributed to the White Center Community Development Association saying the process had been inadequate. Giba suggested any decisionmaking be delayed, and more outreach be done. Dobkin also alleged that the WCCDA itself didn’t reach out to all parts of the community. Permitting division head Jim Chan jumped in to say that inclusionary zoning is meant to be anti-displacement, not to lower taxes for some so others pay more. If all housing that was built was market-rate, people will be displaced. Also, he said, the Comprehensive Plan will have an Environmental Impact, and that will cover the Subarea Plan as well. Giba asked the question, is there no chance the Subarea Plan might lead to more tax-exempt housing in North Highline? McDermott said no, he couldn’t say that.

MICROHOUSING DEMONSTRATION: David Neiman Architects won an RFP process for this and plans to submit a permit application within a few weeks; a pre-application meeting already has been held. They’re asking the county how flexible it will be on a variety of standards. They need to justify anything that would deviate from code, Chan says they were told. One deviation they’ll propose: No parking for the units, Chan said. Dobkin voiced concern about more tree loss contributing to warmer temperatures. McDermott reiterated that they authorized one project to be built in a certain area – just one. He also said he’s proposing an update to the Urban Unincorporated Tree Code, as an offshoot of concerns voiced earlier this year about tree removal on lots where homes are being built. The site under consideration is 16th/102nd, Giba noted – 1619 SW 102nd, per the county website.

HOOKAH LOUNGE: A permit application to remedy a violation was submitted last week and will be reviewed, Chan said. Is the building safe? asked Giba. An enforcement person has, Chan said, and he affirmed that all safety concerns were investigated and nothing of note was found.

FORMER TARADISE CAFE: They did a walkthrough with an inspector two weeks ago, Chan said. “They still have some work they need to do with Labor and Industries – electrical – and Health,” he said, adding that the inspector advised them that more permits may be required “if they expand any further,” and electrical work/fire safety issues were discussed.

WHY NO IN-PERSON MEETINGS YET? Dobkin said they just can’t find a space, though they hope to have some sort of gathering in December somewhere.

ANNOUNCEMENTS: White Center Kiwanis is selling nuts again this year – if interested, call Scott at 206-465-9432.

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Here’s what’s on the agenda when the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meets this Thursday

October 30th, 2022 Tracy Posted in North Highline UAC, White Center news Comments Off on Here’s what’s on the agenda when the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meets this Thursday

If you live, work, study, and/or play in White Center and/or vicinity, the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council is your community council. The next info-packed meeting is this Thursday – here’s the announcement:

The Opportunity to Be Informed, Be Involved and Be Heard!

Where? North Highline Unincorporated Area Council Meeting

When? Thursday, November 3, 2022, at 7 pm

Join Zoom Meeting:

Meeting ID: 833 7687 4452
Passcode: NHUAC2022 (Case Sensitive)

Unable to join via Zoom? Please call 253-215-8782
Meeting ID: 833 7687 4452
Passcode: 742851493

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

“Poverty is not an accident. Like slavery and apartheid, it is man-made and can be removed by the actions of human-beings.” -Nelson Mandela

King County Department of Public Health recently released its updated City Health Profile Report. The report includes demographics, social and health indicators for 48 King County cities and communities. The report’s data confirms that the North Highline/White Center community struggles with poverty, segregation, and their ramifications. City health profiles – King County

What can be done to improve the health and opportunity in our neighborhood? The job of planning belongs to our King County government. Joe McDermott, our representative on the King County Council, will be joining NHUAC’s November 3rd meeting to update us on a variety of proposals and issues facing the North Highline/White Center community. They include the Proposed North Highline Subarea Plan, King County’s Proposed 2023-2024 Budget, and the White Center Microhousing Demonstration Project, which was approved by the King County Council over 2 years ago. How will these plans and projects improve life in our neighborhood?

We have also asked Jim Chan, King County’s Division Director for Permitting, to provide updates on the Microhousing Demonstration Project, the hookah lounge, and other buildings in the area and the effect of the upcoming budget on hiring in the Department of Permitting.

Our Community Deputy Bill Kennamer will also join us with an update from the Sheriff’s Office.

Knowledge is power.

Learn, share, and help make North Highline a healthier community.

November 3, 2022 at 7 pm – Invite Your Neighbors!

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Candidates, schools, and safety in the spotlight at North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meeting

October 14th, 2022 Tracy Posted in North Highline UAC, White Center news 1 Comment »

By Jason Grotelueschen
Reporting for White Center Now

Neighbors heard from state legislature candidates and discussed a major school levy and local safety concerns at last week’s online meeting of the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council (NHUAC). The meeting was led by NHUAC president Liz Giba and vice president Barbara Dobkin.

First on the agenda was King County Sheriff’s Deputy Bill Kennamer, who noted that it was a “busy summer” in White Center and the surrounding area. He said that most criminal statistics were down compared to last year, but that there has been a “lot of armed robberies, spread all over the place” (11, by his count) in recent months. Issues with “static campers” and tents have also generally improved, he said.  However, he also noted that some the statistics are likely down because some residents and business no longer call those in, because they know that currently “those crimes go unpunished.” Kennamer said that due to current restrictions, officers in Seattle and all of unincorporated King County aren’t allowed to directly book people for “quality of life” crimes (like trespassing, graffiti and shoplifting) and nonviolent misdemeanors. Officers in cities like Burien and Seatac can book into the SCORE (South Correctional Entity) jail in Des Moines, but Kennamer said that isn’t an option for him for the county jail until the governor’s emergency orders expire. For example, businesses “don’t call whenever something gets stolen,” he said, “I can write a case report and send it to the prosecutor’s office, but I can’t take that person to jail, which is frustrating.”

Kennamer added that despite the limitations, residents should always call 911 if they see something suspicious. Participants in the meeting brought up some recent examples in which individuals were suspicious and/or threatening in parks and public areas, and Kennamer stressed that even if dispatchers and officers aren’t always able to fully take action, it’s crucial for neighbors to call it in so there’s a record of it. He added that with regard to homeless activity in the area, there was recently a leadership change with the county’s Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) program, and this program has been a useful tool. He said that with winter coming soon, it’s important to encourage to encourage homeless individuals to seek out and accept (which they sometimes don’t) options for housing. Kennamer also said that officers have made progress, with the community’s help, as it relates to “drug houses” and properties that have had issues with criminal activity, as well as problematic encampments, but it’s important for the community to keep calling in things that they see.

Next on the meeting agenda was an overview by Vicki Fisher, longtime principal with Highline Public Schools, about Proposition 1: Highline Public Schools Bond which is on the ballot next month. The bond would provide funds to rebuild three aging schools (Evergreen High School and Tyee High School by 2025, and Pacific Middle School by 2027) as well as supporting repairs at schools across the district. Passing the bond will require at least 60% approval from voters, Fisher said, and involves a $518 million price tag but will not increase the tax rate (due in large part to other expiring levies and bonds).

Fisher began by clarifying the difference between levies and bonds: “Levies are for learning (LL), and bonds are for buildings (BB),” she said, adding that levies are asking the community to support things for learning like books, tech, and specialized instruction, while bonds such as Proposition 1 are for capital projects such as replacing schools and providing repairs for buildings.

Fisher said that the three impacted high schools were built in the 1950s and 1960s and are generally very outdated (this was confirmed by several meeting attendees who shared anecdotes about friends and family attending the schools decades ago, and noted that repairs were needed even then). If the bond is approved, Fisher said, the projects will proceed quickly because they are “shovel ready” due architectural design work that was already completed thanks to funding that was approved in 2016. Fisher added that this work is important in order to provide a great high school experience across the entire district, bringing the three schools up to the same standards as the more recently improved Mt. Rainier and Highline schools.

In response to a question about where students at Evergreen would go during construction, Fisher said that because of the large size of the Evergreen campus, students can stay in the existing buildings while construction is completed elsewhere on the property, and then after they move into the new building in 2025, the existing buildings will be demolished and landscape work will be completed. Fisher encouraged voters to visit the Proposition 1 website for more information, and to vote on November 8.

The remainder of the meeting was a forum for State House candidates Leah Griffin and Emily Alvarado, who advanced in the August primary election for the 34th Legislative District “Position 1” seat which is open because State Rep. Eileen Cody is retiring (West Seattle Blog article here) after 27 years. (For “Position 2” in the 34th, Joe Fitzgibbon is the incumbent running for reelection against Andrew Pilloud, while Joe Nguyen is the State Senate incumbent for the 34th, running against John Potter.) The 34th covers all of West Seattle and Vashon Island, White Center, and west Burien.

Griffin and Alvarado (see WSB reports about their campaign announcements here and here) were given time in the meeting to make statements as well as answer questions from meeting attendees. Both candidates are Democrats, and reside in West Seattle area.

In her opening statement, Griffin described her professional background as a librarian and teacher of information literacy (currently at University Prep in northeast Seattle), and her focus on public service particularly in the past 8 years. From her March 2022 campaign announcement:

Griffin is a certificated school librarian who works on sexual assault policy reform at the state and federal levels. After being raped by a man in her neighborhood in 2014 and seeing how broken the system is for survivors, Griffin knew she had to do something to make things better for other survivors. In 2015, she was appointed to the Sexual Assault Forensic Examination (SAFE) Task Force in the Washington legislature with the aim of solving the myriad of problems survivors encounter navigating the justice system in Washington State.

As a representative of survivors, Griffin significantly contributed to the passage of HB1068, to test new rape kits, HB1109 to increase trauma informed interviewing techniques for police, HB2530 to track rape kits through the system, SB1539 to prevent child sexual assault, SB5649 to increase the statute of limitations for rape, and HB1109 to fund and test all untested rape kits in Washington, HB2318 to store unreported kits, and amend the legal definition of rape kits, and SB6158 to create model sexual assault protocols for hospitals.

She also helped write and lobby for the Survivors’ Access to Supportive Care Act with Senator Murray and Representative Jayapal to increase access to Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners in hospitals. Leah connects her work to her community by working with the King County Sexual Assault Resource Center, Legal Voice, RISE, Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest, and the Washington Library Association. She sits on the board of the Sexual Violence Law Center.

Griffin noted that she heard about Eileen Cody’s retirement the day after her bill was signed, and knew that she needed to take the next step.

In Alvarado’s opening statement, she touted her deep experience in the area of affordable housing, as a leader at the City of Seattle Office of Housing, and currently as a a vice president with the housing nonprofit Enterprise Community Partners.  From her April 2022 campaign announcement:

For more than a decade, I have worked collaboratively to create affordable housing throughout our region, championing policies and investments that foster inclusive, healthy communities and reduce homelessness. … Everyone deserves quality, affordable housing, education and health care, in a safe, thriving community.”

The announcement also describes Alvarado as “an attorney, coalition-builder and former community organizer” who “has fought for reproductive justice, equitable community development, and economic opportunity.”

Alvarado described herself as a tireless advocate for building stronger communities, while spending her “whole life in public service.” She emphasized her strong performance in the August primaries and her breadth of endorsements.

Liz Giba from NHUAC then asked the candidates how much interaction they had with North Highline prior to the campaign. Alvarado, who lives in West Seattle, said that the oldest of her two children plays Highline soccer, and she spends a lot of quality time in the parks and businesses in and around White Center. Griffin, who lives nearby in Highland Park, said that she walks to the “main strip” in White Center almost every day, and did her student teaching in 2008 at Highline High School and worked at Noble Barton for a time.

Giba then shared some data from the North Highline Health Reporting Area (HRA) showing some of the extreme economic and societal challenges that neighbors face. When ranked against other areas, North Highline was #1 or #2 as it relates to poverty, reliance on food stamps, lack of secondary/advanced education, firearm deaths, lack of insurance, and other factors. Giba asked the candidates for their thoughts on the data, and asked what they would do about it if elected. Griffin said that the statistics definitely underscore historical issues with race in the area, and that “acknowledging that is important, but now what do we do about it?” She recalled that when she taught at Highline, there were actually incentives in place to make the smallest number of photocopies for educational resources, and that she encountered issues with staff support as a librarian in the past (not an issue in her current school, which has lots of resources, but she said “every student in Washington deserves that.” Alvarado said that “the data is terrible and damning, but not surprising, because place-based poverty is all over.” She reiterated that this has been a huge area of focus in her career, and would continue to be so in Olympia. She talked about the necessary blend of having safe housing, economic opportunity access to child care and small-business assistance. She stressed that “this is not about the people here — they’ve just been denied opportunity.”

In response to these comments, Giba drilled a little deeper and said that she heard both candidates saying that we need better programs and more money in North Highline, but that this has been said for years, and she wonders if the problems are more about the local concentration of low-incoming housing. Alvarado agreed that when you have more low-income housing in your community then you’d obviously expect the statistics to reflect that, but that when she thinks about this in the context of surrounding areas and a country that has massive wealth disparity, it’s even more of a testament of deprivation of resources in a community that could be changed. Griffin said one of the things being discussed is the need for more housing, noting that we’re “250,000 units short” to meet housing needs in Washington state, which seems to make the case for increasing density, but it needs to be equitable density (not just in areas that already have the vast majority of low-income housing). Alvarado added that we need more housing choices in all communities,, and in places that have higher rates of poverty we need more strategies to grow generational wealth. She added that in North Highline, home ownership rates are much lower than the King County average, especially for Latinos, and that we need targeted strategies for pathways to owning houses and businesses.

Giba presented some additional data, regarding significant disparities in educational opportunities and outcomes for students in the area (particularly White Center Heights school) compared to other areas in King County. Giba said “even if you put money in neighborhood, if you still have kids struggling at home,” and she asked for the candidates’ input. Alvarado agreed that when you have a lot of students in poverty in a single school, it’s challenging, but noted that “if you give those kids the best teachers and resources then they can be high-quality learners having high-quality experiences.” Griffin said that she agreed with Alvarado that we can invest in schools in a way that gives students what they need, adding that we “have a paramount duty to fund education. Schools without nurses, social workers, librarians, paraprofessionals and testing — those aren’t fully-funded schools.” Griffin added “there’s a lot we can do to look at revenue and upside-down tax structure, and find resources to make sure every school in the state is fully-funded.” Alvarado noted that with regard to schools in which multiple languages are spoken, “that’s an asset, not a deficit, in our world and our economy.”

NHUAC’s Barbara Dobkin noted that North Highline isn’t an area in which “redlining” was a problem; the issue was that people with less economic means “were pushed here, where Section 8 vouchers could be used.” Alvarado mentioned a few barriers to having affordable housing be more equitable across the county:  1) restrictions in family zoning, which are exclusionary,  2) we need more affordable housing resources, or there is scarcity, and we can’t reward  behavior of developers only building affordable house where it’s inexpensive to do so, and 3) displacement must be addressed, with regarding to rising rents. Griffin agreed, and with regard to rent prices, noted that when she purchased a home in Highland Park it was “one of the very last HUD houses; my mortgage here is less than many friends pay in rent” and we need to increase the stock of homes.  Griffin added that it’s important to make sure seniors aren’t displaced, and have a place to scale down.

Dobkin pressed the candidates on some of their comments, saying “I hate to sound jaded, but having lived in community for 20 years, we’ve heard the same things, yet schools have not progressed and things haven’t improved.” She said “millions in grants and money hasn’t helped, and it’s hard to hear same things over again,” and noted that King County representatives have even said in NHUAC meetings that “they build tax-exempt housing here because it’s cheaper.” Alvarado said she appreciated the comment, and said “these are deep, hard and somewhat intractable issues” and the pandemic has only made things harder. She asked what immediate policies the group thought could have an impact on quality of life. Giba said the county is in the process of adopting the North Highline Subarea Plan, which will increase density “even though our current infrastructure is really lacking, like stormwater, sidewalks and parks.”  Griffin said “I hear you, and areas of investment need to happen” and added that it’s crucial to improve aid to small businesses in White Center.  She mentioned last week’s announcement of the City of Seattle’s Storefront Repair Fund involving $2,000 grants to assist businesses with propery repairs (paid for by $2 million in federal funds), and noted that expanding similar programs to White Center is necessary. She mentioned the impact of the numerous fires at White Center businesses, saying “they still haven’t recovered, and I would support that funding to help.” Alvarez added that “North Highline deserves services for quality of life. Government can’t just be about big policies, it has to be about delivering services.”

Giba asked about the overall importance of public safety. Griffin noted that this is something she cares deeply about, as someone who was “personally impacted by a violent crime, but then encountered broken systems that didn’t work.” She said that she toured the Monroe correctional facility a couple of years ago, and encountered inmates laboring for 42 cents an hour, which “broke my heart and changed my mind about the justice system. Now we have a system based on punishment, but if we want to address the issues then we need it to be based on rehab and reform.” Alvardo said that she believes that everyone deserves to be safe in our communities, and we need to address and tackle issues of public safety. She added that “in King County, we don’t have a place to bring people who are in crisis, and we need a good strong real relationship with the police who are doing hard work out there.” She said there’s a need to rebuild the partnership and trust between the community and law enforcement.

In closing, Griffin thanked attendees for coming to the meeting, and said she is running for office “because I believe the stories of people in our community matter.” She added that “I love White Center, this is my home, and I’m grateful to talk to you about improving outcomes for all of us.” Alvarado thanked NHUAC for the opportunity to get together, and said she believes “that everyone should have a strong foundation in life, a strong community, and together we can do it.” She said it’s hard work and that she is “pragmatic but hopeful” in the goal of not leaving anyone behind.

As the meeting drew to a close, Darlene from the “log cabin” (the community center at Steve Cox Memorial Park) also shared some updates from King County Parks and the White Center Teen Program:

1. Our Recreation Aides put together a highlights video from the 2022 Summer Sack Lunch Program that ran out of both Thurnau Memorial Park and Steve Cox Memorial Park: 

2. The Annual Outdoor Halloween Carnival is coming up on Saturday, October 29th from 2-5pm at Steve Cox Memorial Park.

The social-media page for the carnival is here.

NEXT MEETING: NHUAC usually meets on first Thursdays, so the next meeting would be November 3rd.

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State House candidates, school levy, more @ North Highline Unincorporated Area Council this Thursday

October 3rd, 2022 Tracy Posted in North Highline UAC, Politics, White Center news 2 Comments »

The biggest local races on next month’s ballot will be the highlight of Thursday’s North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meeting. Here’s the announcement:

North Highline Unincorporated Area Council Meeting
October 6, 7 pm – Via Zoom

NHUAC is pleased to be hosting a forum for the candidates for the 34th Legislative District, Leah Griffin and Emily Alvarado. This is a great opportunity to hear from the candidates and ask questions on issues that impact our lives in North Highline/White Center.

Additionally, we will be joined by Deputy Bill Kennamer who will provide information on crime trends and Vickie Fisher, who will provide information on the Highline School District Levy.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 894 4172 0967
Passcode: NHUAC2022 (Case Sensitive)

Or by Phone: 253 215 8782
Meeting ID: 894 4172 0967

Passcode: 758440156

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North Highline Unincorporated Area Council to resume meetings in October

August 29th, 2022 Tracy Posted in North Highline UAC, White Center news Comments Off on North Highline Unincorporated Area Council to resume meetings in October

Update from NHUAC:

The North Highline Unincorporated Area Council wishes you a wonderful Labor Day weekend!

Please join us for our next monthly meeting on Thursday, October 6th at 7 pm.

Looking forward to seeing you in October!

Watch for specifics when that date gets closer.

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