West Seattle, Washington
Just published on our partner site White Center Now: Seattle’s potential annexation of WC and vicinity has just moved a bit further down the road. One month after the King County Boundary Review Board‘s two-day hearing in White Center, board members just voted to finalize their approval of the prospective annexation. But there’s still a long road ahead – the Seattle City Council would have to vote to send the annexation proposal to voters in the potential annexation area; voters would have to approve it; and the city then would have to take steps to make it happen – they’ve said a yes vote in a 2017 election, for example, would result in the area becoming part of Seattle in 2019.
One more reminder in case you want to go to this, or in case you hear it and wonder what’s happening: Tonight’s the night that White Center Jubilee Days‘ carnival begins at Steve Cox Memorial Park, with rides starting at 3 pm and a fireworks show over the stadium at dusk. The park is at 1321 SW 102nd (map).
While we’re focused on festivals – whether you want to see them in person, or just want an advance alert, here’s your heads-up about a fireworks show in the area next Wednesday (July 13th). That’s the first night of White Center Jubilee Days, and at dusk Wednesday, a professional fireworks show will light up the sky over Steve Cox Memorial Park, where the WCJD carnival will have opened hours earlier (at 3 pm). The show is usually audible from much of south West Seattle, so if you hear it on Wednesday night, now you know.
Thanks for the e-mails and texts about this – in case you were checking here, just wanted to let you know that we’re covering the search via White Center Now.
Meeting for a second night in White Center, the King County Boundary Review Board has just given what amounts to preliminary approval of Seattle’s proposed annexation of White Center. Its members voted 8-1 to prepare an approval motion for a final vote at its next official meeting (in July). This followed two nights of testimony from local residents as well as from representatives of Seattle, King County, and local agencies. Major concerns involved how fire service would be provided to the now-unincorporated area as well as how White Center’s libraries would be managed; the notorious Myers Way encampment/RV area also was brought up often, with questions about how Seattle would manage public safety in North Highline if that situation couldn’t be handled. We have full coverage of both nights on our partner site White Center Now – first night here (with video), second night here (with video to be added).
7:05 PM: If you’re interested in tonight’s Boundary Review Board hearing – the next major step in Seattle’s proposal to annex White Center and vicinity – but couldn’t be there, we wanted to let you know we’re chronicling it live on partner site White Center Now – just go here.
9:36 PM: The first night of the hearing is over; more people are on the list to testify, and that will resume at 7 pm Tuesday. When everyone who wants to speak has spoken, the board will deliberate; if that’s not done within a few hours tomorrow, the board also has set aside Thursday as a potential third night.
By Randall Hauk
Reporting for West Seattle Blog & White Center Now
The semi-pro Highline Bears baseball team launched its second season at Steve Cox Memorial Park in grand fashion Saturday night, downing the Langley Blaze 10-0 to give manager Rich Lindros a big win in his debut.
Starting pitcher Al Miller needed just seven innings to collect his complete-game shutout, thanks to the efficient Bears offense which used just three hits to generate enough runs to trigger an early end to the game via the “mercy rule.” Miller also surrendered only three hits on the evening, striking out two.
After Blaze starter Brandon Marklund loaded the bases in the fourth inning by hitting three Bears batters, second baseman Connor Jones delivered a two-out single to score Cameron Slader (a West Seattle High School alum) and Colton Kelly.
Marklund’s control struggles continued in the fifth inning, when he again loaded the bases without giving up a hit, this time walking first baseman Angel Valencia before hitting the next two batters. The Bears would pounce on the opportunity, plating six runs in the frame despite a Parker Coffey single being the only hit the home team would produce.
The Bears finished things in the seventh, again taking advantage of Langley pitching issues. After Ben Fitzhugh and Connor Jones each drew walks, third baseman Drew Larea doubled down the right-field line to make it 9-0. Myles Wesner grounded to second, but Ben Foerster’s throw to the plate could not prevent Jones from scoring a game-ending run.
Following the game, children in attendance were invited to run around the bases while Bears players lined the infield offering high-fives to their young fans, who then proceeded to collect autographs from their heroes in blue.
The two teams will meet again today (Sunday) at Steve Cox (1321 SW 102nd) for a doubleheader beginning at noon. Tickets are $5, with kids under 12 admitted free.
Two months after we got word that Bok a Bok Korean Fried Chicken was on the way to White Center, it’s opening Wednesday, and invited media in tonight. We dropped in for a few photos and updates – including, most importantly if you’re interested, the menu! See it on WCN.
Five quick West Seattle (and vicinity) food notes:
WILDWOOD MARKET: Finally an answer to the question of “what’s going in at the old Guadalajara Restaurant?” at 9214 45th SW in Fauntleroy. Wildwood Market‘s website says it will open this fall, a market and sandwich shop described as “… your locally owned community-focused eatery … A modern take on Seattle’s old neighborhood corner stores, you will find wholesome foods, beer & wine, and staples for your fridge & pantry, in a family-friendly atmosphere.”
(added Wednesday night) We reached Lonjina Verdugo, part of the Wildwood Market team, who you might remember as proprietor of the Center Studio in White Center. She says it’s a family operation, and they’re modeling it on a market in Washington, D.C., that a relative operates. “With permits and remodeling, we are hoping to open this Fall if not sooner. Very excited!”
(back to original report) HARRY’S CHICKEN JOINT ON VACATION: Don’t get alarmed if you find Harry’s Chicken Joint (6032 California SW) closed; proprietor Bruce sent a note this morning to say, “We are taking a much-needed rest and vacation and will be closed until Friday, June 3rd.”
CRAWFISH AT CIRCA TODAY: Circa proprietor Gretchen e-mailed to say they’re doing another crawfish boil at the Admiral restaurant (2605 California SW) today, 11:30 am-4 pm. Gumbo too. (And their regular menu is available as well.)
PROLETARIAT PIZZA LAUNCHES BRUNCH: As of last weekend, “the pizza that made White Center famous” – created by the Albaeck family of West Seattle – is now serving brunch on weekends, 9 am-noon. Get a taste by checking out the first brunch menu on our partner site White Center Now.
KIZUKI RAMEN UPDATE: This is the number one reader question in the restaurant realm right now – “when is Kizuki Ramen opening in The Junction?” Especially since the sign went up recently (thanks for the pic!):
Latest answer we’ve found to the “WHEN?” question: “In a few weeks.”
(And yes, we’re following up on a hefty helping of other eats/drinks on the way; more news as we confirm it!)
(From the archives: Map of proposed annexation area)
ORIGINAL REPORT, 8:44 PM: Before Seattle city leaders can put potential annexation of White Center and vicinity on the ballot for voters in that area to consider, they need approval from a King County entity called the Boundary Review Board. Before the BRB makes its decision, it holds a public hearing. We’ve just learned the dates are set for its hearing on the Seattle annexation proposal: June 13th and 14th, starting at 7 pm both nights, at the Technology Access Foundation‘s Bethaday Community Space at Dick Thurnau Memorial Park (605 SW 108th). Documentation for the hearing is online – here’s the official notice; the online file for the proposed annexation is here. The city’s rep on the longrunning annexation issue moderated a public discussion at White Center’s Dubsea Coffee back in March; see our report here. If the Seattle City Council decides to seek annexation, a vote in the affected area could be sought in 2017 or 2018. But the BRB hearing is the first step.
ADDED FRIDAY MORNING: We followed up this morning with Seattle city government’s point person on the proposed annexation, Kenny Pittman. He said the city is still waiting for its formal notification of what’s on the BRB website, so it hasn’t made an official announcement of the hearings yet. He also said the city has yet to set up the webpage it promised at the March Dubsea meeting, with information about the proposal and process. We asked if any further community conversations are scheduled; not yet, he said, but he did mention that he’s been invited to the North Highline Fire District board’s meeting on May 16th (7 pm, NHFD HQ, 1243 SW 112th), and will be bringing along a Seattle Fire assistant chief.
(UPDATE: Due to technical trouble with the Seattle Foundation’s new site earlier, GiveBIG is extended until midnight Wednesday night)
ORIGINAL REPORT, 4:56 AM: Until midnight tonight, your donation(s) to local nonprofits can go further during the Seattle Foundation‘s annual GiveBIG event.
If you’ve donated on GiveBIG day in the past – this is important: This year, they’ve changed how it works, if you want to help multiple organizations/groups – instead of going to multiple individual special donation pages, just go here and add as many recipients and donations as you want, and the total payment will be a single transaction.
But you CAN go to individual pages – the GiveBIG-specific donation links (not the same links as years past) for the locally helping/locally based organizations on the official list are below. If we’re missing anyone in WS/WC, please e-mail email@example.com and we’ll add.
· Alki United Church of Christ
· Arts Corps
· Association of Latino Professionals For America
· Blue Earth Alliance
· Camp Fire Central Puget Sound
· Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association
· Denny-Sealth Performing Arts
· Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition/Technical Advisory Group
· Duwamish Rowing Club
· Duwamish Tribal Services
· Empower Mentoring Program
· Environmental Coalition of South Seattle
· Explorer West Middle School
· Fauntleroy Children’s Center
· Friends of All-City Band
· Friends of the Animals Foundation
· Furry Faces Foundation
· Gender Diversity
· Highland Park Elementary PTA
· Highline Schools Foundation for Excellence
· Holy Rosary Parish School
· Irish Reels Film Festival
· Killer Whale Tales
· King County Library System Foundation
· Kol HaNeshamah
· Legal Counsel for Youth and Children
· Northwest Center
· Opera On Tap Seattle
· Our Lady of Guadalupe School
· Plumbers Without Borders
· Pongo Publishing
· Providence Mount St. Vincent Foundation
· Reel Grrls
· SafeFutures Youth Center
· Seattle Adaptive Sports
· Seattle Glee Clubs
· Seattle Green Spaces Coalition
· Seattle People of Color Salon
· Seniors Creating Art
· Shine Bright
· South Seattle College Foundation
· Southwest Seattle Historical Society
· Southwest Youth and Family Services
· STEM K-8 PTA
· Technology Access Foundation
· The Cabiri
· The Kenney Foundation
· The Mission to Seafarers – Seattle
· The Nature Consortium
· The Phffft Company
· the Service Board
· The Village of Hope
· The Whale Trail
· Totem Star
· Transitional Resources
· Twelfth Night Productions
· Vivace Chamber Players
· West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network (link takes you to Seattle Neighborhood Group; write WSBWCN in the comments)
· West Seattle Community Orchestras
· West Seattle Food Bank
· West Seattle Helpline
· WestSide Baby
· Westside Unitarian Universalist Congregation
· Wheelchairs for Nigeria
· Whit Press
· White Center Community Development Association
· White Center Emergency Food Association [WC Food Bank] · YES Foundation of White Center
· YMCA of Greater Seattle [then write in West Seattle to designate for local Y] · Young Shakespeare Workshop
Again, you can also go here and start entering organizations’ names – if they’re part of GiveBIG, they’ll show up in the dropdown, and if you want to donate to more than one, just use the button on the form to keep adding.
P.S. At least one special event locally as part of GiveBIG – you can support the White Center Food Bank (which is in the GiveBIG system as the White Center Emergency Food Association) via Dine Out For Hunger, with four popular WC spots donating part of today’s proceeds – info here.
ADDED 4:26 PM: GiveBIG has now extended until midnight Wednesday night, after tech trouble with the Seattle Foundation’s new website led to slowness and crashing. Meantime, we’re adding a few more local nonprofits who’ve let us know they belong on our list.
Tonight we know the locations where King County Elections is proposing to add more than three dozen fixed ballot dropboxes, including West Seattle (where the last one was removed more than five years ago), White Center, and South Park. Each would get one dropbox before primary voting starts in mid-July, if this plan is approved. Read the full news release here.
Toplines for our area:
In West Seattle, the location would be High Point Library (35th/Raymond); in White Center, it would be the White Center Library (the address listed in the county report is for the current one on 16th, though the new one on SW 107th is scheduled to open soon, so we’ll be doublechecking on that tomorrow). The South Park Library is proposed for a dropbox by the November general election. A 132-page report including how and why these locations (and the others around the county) were chosen – and why some other locations were not chosen – can be seen here.
The county says it will spend $239,695 to have the boxes made, wrapped, and installed. Assuming approval is received from the King County Council and all property owners, this would put 91.5% of the county’s population within three miles of a dropbox, the county says. A public hearing is planned before the County Council’s Government Accountability and Oversight Committee at 9:30 am Tuesday, April 26th, in the council chambers downtown.
Three quick restaurant notes:
MIOPOSTO STARTS BRUNCH NEXT WEEKEND IN ADMIRAL: As you plan ahead for next weekend (and beyond), you’ll have a new brunch option in West Seattle. Starting next Saturday, Mioposto in Admiral (2139 California SW; WSB sponsor) opens weekend mornings at 10 am for brunch/breakfast. Until now, it’s been dinner only. The brunch menu isn’t posted yet but you might consider the brunch menu from their Bryant location to be a taste. (Between now and then, you’ll want to dine at Mioposto on Tuesday, April 5th, if you are a fan of public-radio station KPLU; in the effort to raise enough money to prevent its sale and big changes, Mioposto is donating 30 percent of its proceeds at all three locations on Tuesday.)
MORE BREAKFAST IN THE JUNCTION: Highstrike Grill at West Seattle Bowl (39th SW/SW Oregon) sends word it’s expanding its breakfast hours; as of April 14th, it’ll be serving breakfast 7:30 am-2 pm Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.
FRIED CHICKEN ON THE WAY TO WHITE CENTER: From our partner site White Center Now – the WC space where the bricks-and-mortar Charlie’s Buns just closed after six months (98th just east of 16th SW) already has a new tenant: Bok a Bok, “Korean fried chicken and biscuits,” to be opened by Chef Brian O’Connor, a veteran of the Seattle restaurant scene, who also has another WC plan once that’s up and running. (Added Monday: WSB’s Christopher Boffoli reminded your editor here that Chef O’Connor has a past WS connection – he was on the team that opened The Swinery in 2009 and is at right in the top photo in our story about it.)
1:01 AM: Lots of questions this past half-hour about a helicopter just south of the city/county border. Flight-tracking showed it was Guardian One but there was little discussion on the scanner and no reports of ground activity, so we didn’t know what it was up to until this tweet just after it left the area: “Assisted White Center patrol on person with a gun call in 18 Ave SW. Led patrol in to person in front yard of house. Subject is detained.” That would be a King County Sheriff’s Office case and we’ll follow up later this morning.
ADDED 5:14 PM: We finally have additional information to share. From KCSO spokesperson Sgt. Cindi West: “Around midnight, we responded to the area of the 10400 block of 18 Ave SW for a report of a suicidal man who possibly had a gun. We contacted the man in the area and did not locate a gun. The man was transported to a hospital for a mental-health evaluation. The man is a 66 year old living in the vicinity.”
(Also published on partner site White Center Now)
Story by Tracy Record
Photos by Patrick Sand
West Seattle Blog/White Center Now co-publishers
Just because White Center (and vicinity) voters said no to Burien doesn’t mean they’re ready to say yes to Seattle.
That was abundantly clear during tonight’s standing-room-only annexation “conversation” at Dubsea Coffee in Greenbridge, barely a block south of the city-county line.
Some in attendance loudly voiced skepticism and outright distrust of the city’s motives and even suitability.
Others asked simple questions about what changes annexation would bring.
The city’s longtime point person on annexation, Kenny Pittman, led the discussion, saying he wanted to offer “basic information” and answer questions, and promising more meetings and “outreach.”
He’s been working on the annexation issue for 12 1/2 years, he told the crowd of 50+, which included White Center community advocates and entrepreneurs.
He recapped why it’s on the front burner now – as first reported on our partner site White Center Now, Governor Inslee has signed a Legislature-passed bill that will divert millions of sales-tax dollars to Seattle to cover the costs of taking on the added residents and acreage.
Early on, he said annexation isn’t going to happen overnight:
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Will Seattle finally ask voters in White Center and the rest of still-unincorporated North Highline to let themselves be annexed?
The answer to that question now rests with the fate of a bill making its way through the Legislature, approved by the State Senate in late January, heard in a State House committee last Friday, and headed for an executive-session discussion in another committee this Wednesday: SSB 5964.
It boosts the amount of state sales tax that can be diverted to the city to cover the cost of annexing (read the full text here).
An update on the bill was part of a briefing the Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council received from the city’s longtime point person on annexation, Kenny Pittman. He spoke during WWRHAH’s February meeting, which was focused on the status of the Westwood-Highland Park Residential Urban Village and how neighboring White Center might play into it if annexation happens.
While the city waits to see if the bill gets final legislative approval this year, the annexation proposal is on hold with the King County Boundary Review Board, which would have to give its blessing before the proposal could go before voters, as would the Seattle City Council, which has had major turnover – four of its nine members – since giving approval to an early step in the process last summer.
With the city updating its Comprehensive Plan now, via the Seattle 2035 process, WWRHAH is not content to just let this all play out and then wonder how Westwood and White Center might become part of some sort of coherent planning process later. So this month’s discussion was intended as something of a jump-start. WWRHAH, explained co-chair Amanda Kay Helmick, wants to create a joint plan that includes White Center: “Something for people to vote on!”
That underscore: If there’s a chance White Center and vicinity might become part of Seattle within a few years, why wouldn’t planning already be under way, since the city is close to launching its vision for the next 20 years?
The answer seemed to be, in part, that the planning still might be inadequate on this side of the city/county line.
On partner site White Center Now, we’re covering the investigation of a shooting death in White Center’s Greenbridge neighborhood. The victim was found in the street just after 9 pm at the intersection of 9th SW and SW 100th. Not many details yet but we just talked at the scene with King County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Sgt. Cindi West and that’s part of our coverage.
A touch of sorcery on the track tonight at Southgate Roller Rink, during the Harry Potter-themed “House Cup” bout between Southside Revolution Junior Roller Derby and visiting Cherry Bomb Brawlers.
Good crowd at the rink as the skaters faced off – as is a roller derby tradition, the names on their shirts (and the refs’) were not to be missed:
On the sidelines, baked goods and raffle tickets were sold to raise money for the medical bills of the Brawlers’ beloved “Coach SmartAss,” who died recently after battling cancer.
We will update later when we get the results.
Saturday night brings the second bout of the season for Southside Revolution Junior Coed Roller Derby. The Cherry Bomb Brawlers from Spokane are visiting, and it’s more than a bout – the Brawlers’ coach Ti “SmartAss” Marchand” lost her battle with cancer days ago, and they’re raising money both to cover her bills and to help another coach’s mom. Southside team manager Pamela McCarty sends the reminder:
THE HOUSE CUP, DOUBLE HEADER BOUT! Come watch the Southside Revolution Junior Roller Derby positional and full-contact teams mashup with Cherry Bomb Brawlers and Friends. Bout 1 at 5:45 pm will be Southside Revolution Cadets & Friends Mashup. Bout 2 at 7:20 pm will be Southside Revolution Rebels, Cherry Bomb Brawlers, Mob City Misfits and Seattle Derby Brats.
This is a HARRY POTTER THEMED BOUT. The teams will be sorted into their ‘Houses’ at the beginning of the bout with the ‘Sorting Hat’ as per standard with all students of Hogwarts. The team with the most points will win the HOUSE CUP!
Doors at 5:15 pm, 1st Bout at 5:45 pm. $10 General Admission Adults, $5 Children 6-12, Children under 5 are free.
This is at our area’s only roller rink, Southgate, in White Center,
In West Seattle (and vicinity) Crime Watch:
THANKS FOR THE TIPS: Received a few about a sizable law-enforcement presence at 15th and Roxbury this past hour. Headed that way and found King County Sheriff’s Office deputies had converged on the gas station at the southwest corner of the intersection. They were searching what one deputy told us was a stolen car; we’ll be following up on our partner site White Center Now.
ADMIRAL BURGLARY: Tyler e-mailed this weekend to share the word about this:
On Wednesday at exactly 12:44 am we had a person enter our property at 53rd and Admiral and break into our garage, stealing wire and several small tools. They then moved a camera out of the way and tried to gain access to a small basement window. They were on site for over 20 minutes.
The house is being sold, so there was no one home and only various tools on site. Police report filed Thursday.
Suspect was wearing black jeans and hooded sweatshirt also in black. He knew there were cameras as face was covered. Had a distinctive large rectangle style back back with straps.
MORE HIGHLAND PARK MAIL THEFT: Shirley in Highland Park wants her neighbors in the 11th/12th/Barton vicinity to “please be aware that there is a lot of mail being taken and thrown on the ground and or put in other mailboxes. On my dog walk this am I found some of my neighbor’s mail in my paper box. This afternoon walking the dog, I found another neighbor’s mail in the alley … Also noticed several mailboxes open along the way.”
STOLEN MAIL FOUND IN SEAVIEW: A reader “found someone’s mail from Ballard (Friday morning) dumped at the corner of 44th SW and SW Graham.” They planned to take it back to the Post Office but added, “I just wanted to let people know to be watchful for thieves using our neighborhood like this.”
EDITOR’S NOTE: Last June, we checked in with what’s now the area’s only standalone aquarium store, B & D in White Center, after a reader expressed concern for its future. At the time, its owner told us he would “hang on” as long as he could. Recently, multiple readers wrote to tell us it didn’t appear he would be hanging on much longer. We found out they’re right.
By Randall Hauk
Reporting for West Seattle Blog and White Center Now
Citing a continued “rising costs and lower sales,” the owner of B & D Aquarium says the 44-year-old White Center business will be closing shop for good at some point in the coming weeks.
“You can’t keep losing money every day and stay open,” says P.D. who opened his aquarium-hobbyist shop at 35th and Roxbury in 1972.
Though a sign hanging from a corner of the shop declares that December 31st would be the last day for business, P.D. is still open because he’s trying to liquidate as much of his stock as he can before he’s is forced to vacate the building. In addition to the deep discounts he’s offering on everything in the shop in what the owner calls his “indoor yard sale,” he’s been giving freebies to his loyal, long-time customers to help things come to a close as quickly as possible.
Though B & D was unable to continue to compete, price-wise, with the offerings of online retailers or big-chain pet stores, P.D. and his staff have long been well-regarded by local hobbyists for their expertise, which will the biggest loss to local hobbyists.
“What we’re getting from the customers is that they don’t want us to leave, because they don’t know where they’re going to go,” says Kelly Greer, who has worked at B & D for nearly 30 years. “Their next options are in Burien or Kent.”
Facing the loss of such knowledge and willingness to help, several customers have apparently decided to give up the hobby altogether, knowing how difficult it would be to replace what they’ll lose when B & D finally shutters its doors.
“Yeah, we’ve had about a dozen people give up their tanks because we’re going out of business,” says P.D. “They want to give their tanks to us, but I’ve got a couple-hundred tanks to get rid of already.”
Because they’ve already stayed open beyond what they’d originally planned, P.D. doesn’t know when the true final day will arrive. Though he’d prefer to be able to close shop because he’s successfully cleared his on-hand stock, he knows he’ll likely have to stop before he can liquidate everything completely.
As for his own future?
“I’ll have to start wearing shoes, get a haircut, and look for a job.”
Until they finally close, B & D will continue to open at 10450 15th Ave SW (next to the White Center Eagles) Mondays through Fridays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.. Phone service has been disconnected, so you won’t be able to call to see whether they are still there.