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NEED FOOD? Get it Saturday at Holy Family

Tonight, more details on a Saturday food distribution we mentioned previously, briefly:

Catholic Community Services of Western Washington (CCSWW) is partnering with United States Department of Agriculture contract awardee Pacific Coast Fruit Company to distribute over 200,000 lbs. of Farmers to Families Food Boxes weekly through the end of June. CCSWW will partner with parishes across Western Washington to disseminate the food via 25-pound boxes of dairy, produce, and protein across 17 sites.

On Saturday, May 30, Holy Family Parish at 9622 20th Ave SW in White Center will host a pop-up pantry and provide 2,250 boxes from 10 am – 2 pm to the general public. Holy Family Parish is partnering with Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in West Seattle, local faith communities, schools as well as multiple St. Vincent de Paul Conferences to organize volunteers and ensure that families experiencing food insecurity are aware of the pantry.

Holy Family Parish serves 1,100 families across Greater Seattle. Pastor Fr. Alvarez expressed the profound need for the food boxes, “At Holy Family Parish, we are in the middle of the community that has been most affected by unemployment and we are happy to host the pop-up pantry. Due to the pandemic, many people lost their jobs or have had their hours of work reduced and are having difficulty paying their bills. Food is the last thing they should worry about and the distribution of food will help tremendously to improve their quality of life.”

With over 170 programs, CCSWW is the largest private social service provider in the state, serving nearly 100,000 people in need each year. Organizer and Network Builder at CCSWW, Erin Maguire expressed her deepest gratitude for all the partners that have made the event happen, “With great compassion our partners have enthusiastically united in service to their communities. We know that the need is great and I am proud that so many organizations have responded with even greater love.”

Physical distancing practices and masking will be followed during delivery and distribution.

This will be happening in the parish parking lot. All are welcome, no questions asked.

HELPING: Special delivery for National Guard members deployed to White Center Food Bank

(WSB photos/video)

Like the West Seattle Food Bank, the White Center Food Bank – which serves part of WS too – is among the food banks getting help from the Washington National Guard. And today, the helpers got some help themselves – eight bicycles!

That’s Stephen Rowley from Cascade Bicycle Club. Today, he delivered loaner bikes to the WCFB for the National Guard members to use. Their leader, Sgt. Aaron Smith, explained:

Rowley told us that these bicycles are usually used in activities at schools, but since those aren’t happening right now, they were available.

The borrowers are expected to keep them for several weeks.

From White Center Now: County says Top Hat quarantine center ‘on hold,’ might never open

It’s been almost two months since King County sparked an uproar by announcing a site in Top Hat, surrounded by apartment complexes, would be set up as a quarantine/isolation site for COVID-19 patients. More than 30 modular units have since been set up there. But now the county says the site is “on hold” and might never open. The latest update is on our partner site White Center Now.

ART: Brightening a boarded-up business

(WSB photo)

While out checking on a few things a little while ago, we stopped in downtown White Center, where West Seattle muralist Sarah Robbins is working on the boards covering the windows at Beer Star and its (also closed) co-housed businesses. She told us she’s working on the next panel (to the south) after this.

QUARANTINE/ISOLATION FACILITY: Top Hat site not ready for occupants yet

March 18, 2020 2:37 pm
|    Comments Off on QUARANTINE/ISOLATION FACILITY: Top Hat site not ready for occupants yet
 |   Coronavirus | West Seattle news | White Center

(ile photo)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Nobody’s in the Top Hat quarantine/isolation facility (206 SW 112th) yet. But the county is launching weekly community phone meetings for updates and Q&A. We participated in the first one this afternoon.

John Taylor from Local Services, Callie Knight from the Executive’s Office, Brad Binder from Public Health, County Councilmember Joe McDermott were among those on the call.

Regarding the timeline, Knight said the timeline for opening is still “at least a week and a half” away. April 3rd is the target date, to be open for 8 four-unit trailers, including one unit to be used as an on-site office, added Christina Gonzales of Facilities, who joined the call later. Read More

CORONAVIRUS: New information about King County’s planned Top Hat quarantine/isolation site

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

New information on the King County quarantine/isolation facility planned at 206 SW 112th [map] in Top Hat, just east of White Center, first announced Tuesday. The new details emerged in a conference call meeting that county reps organized for community members; we were on that call, which just concluded, for WSB and partner site White Center Now.

The site will start up with two 4-room trailers, with up to six more when a vacant building on the site is demolished. (Above is our photo of the first trailer that was delivered Tuesday – the county had 14 in storage on Harbor Island.) The county has now decided NOT to open the site until utilities including water/sewer are hooked up to the trailers’ built-in bathrooms – they originally had said they would start with portable toilets and hand-washing stations but have scrapped that plan. They expect the connections will be complete by the middle of next week.

The site will NOT have medical staff – but the county plans to “check in” with people at least twice a day. They also plan to deliver food and other supplies. And they will have 24-hour security who will “notify” county reps if someone leaves the site.

Who will be there? Criteria are still being developed, the county reps said. Three scenarios were mentioned for starters – people who are traveling and have nowhere else to go, people who are unhoused, people who can’t “self-quarantine” because of a situation at their home such as an at-risk person also living there.

How long will someone stay? If they’re being tested – until the test results are in, if those results are negative. If they’re ill, “until they’ve recovered.”

The call wasn’t strictly informational – strong opposition was voiced, primarily by people pointing out that the area is home to low-income people and other marginalized populations and should not have to bear this burden and risk. “10,000 people are opposed” was mentioned – apparently a reference to this online petition. But county reps were clear – this decision has been made and will not change.

Those on the call, besides several staffers from various county departments such as Local Services, included County Councilmember Joe McDermott and Burien Mayor Jimmy Matta. McDermott said County Executive Dow Constantine‘s request for emergency funding will be approved at next Tuesday’s King County Council meeting.

We have a few other details to add shortly.

ADDED 12:58 PM: First, for those wondering about the other two quarantine sites, the county has provided these addresses – 531 Elliott Avenue West [map] in Interbay and 1132 N. 128th Street [map] in North Seattle. The Top Hat site was formerly home to the Wilderness Technology Alliance.

Julie Hiatt of the North Highline Fire District, which serves the area, was on the call and said NHFD had not even had a meeting with the county to talk about this; one was promised. County reps also said they were not intending for NHFD to have to transport patients to/from the site; they are working with potential providers such as Tri-Med.

One community member on the call was aghast at the single-security-guard plan: “You’re bringing this into poor communties and telling us there’s going to be one security guard for people who might leave?” Security plans would be re-evaluated along the way, county reps said. Another community member: “If this is going to spread, this is not the community you want it to spread in – most (nearby) people don’t even have health insurance.” The site is in a densely populated area of North Highline, with neighboring apartment complexes including the huge new Southside by Vintage across SW 112th.

Another community member: “It seems like an experiment. … The community does not want this facility here. It’s going to cause death … There is death attached to this facility.” County reps countered that this was meant to save lives; Local Services director John Taylor countered, “The consequence to the community of not doing this could be disastrous.”

The call ended after an hour but more communication including an email list was promised.

FOLLOWUP: Fireworks ban for unincorporated King County to be officially proposed Thursday by Councilmember Joe McDermott

(Reader photo: Solstice Park fireworks debris, July 2018)

After years of clamor for a fireworks ban in unincorporated King County – including White Center, just south of West Seattle – a deadly fire has finally ignited action.

As promised, King County Councilmember Joe McDermott – whose district includes West Seattle, White Center, and Vashon Island – is about to introduce legislation that would ban fireworks in the unincorporated areas of the county. See a summary below (or here in PDF):

See the full text of the legislation below (or here in PDF):

We talked this afternoon with Councilmember McDermott, who will officially get it into the system tomorrow.

McDermott notes that 25 jurisdictions within King County – including Seattle and Burien, which bookend White Center – already ban fireworks. And in addition to the deadly fire in North Highline, he’s heard from constituents with other concerns, including wildfire worries on Vashon Island.

Yes, he’s heard the concerns raised before – what does this really do if there’s no extra enforcement? “It sets a new norm,” McDermott contends, and use will be reduced. What about the organizations that have raised money through fireworks sales? They’re going to have to find a new, not potentially deadly way to raise money. McDermott says the fundraising-related concerns were a factor in a related bill that has died for the year in the State Legislature, 34th District Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon‘s proposal to change state law so that fireworks bans could take effect faster. The stalling of that bill means that if McDermott’s proposal passes, it wouldn’t take effect until next year, so fireworks would still be legal in unincorporated King County this summer.

What are the chances it will pass? McDermott says he can count on support from at least a couple council colleagues, but he’s not taking anything/anyone for granted. If you have a strong opinion on the proposal, contact all the county councilmembers (here’s how). There also will be a committee hearing on the proposal, in the Local Services Committee chaired by Councilmember Reagan Dunn (no date for that yet).

P.S. Professional fireworks displays would still be allowed in unincorporated King County – as they are in the cities with fireworks bans – by permit.

CRIME WATCH: White Center shooting; West Seattle burglary attempt

February 21, 2020 10:30 pm
|    Comments Off on CRIME WATCH: White Center shooting; West Seattle burglary attempt
 |   Crime | High Point | West Seattle news | White Center

Two Crime Watch notes tonight:

WHITE CENTER SHOOTING: Thanks for the tips on this. One person was found in White Center tonight with a non-life-threatening gunshot wound, after deputies responded to a report of shots heard near 16th/Roxbury. The story’s on our partner site White Center Now.

BURGLARY ATTEMPT: We asked SPD about this early-morning incident near 34th/Morgan. Their summary:

Officers responded to the 6300 block of 34th SW for a reported burglary in progress at about 2:15 am this morning. According to the victim, an unknown person attempted to enter the house via the dog door. The homeowner was able to scare off the suspect before they got inside. According to the victim, the suspect, possibly two, fled the area before the officers arrived. Officers conducted a thorough search of the area, but did not locate the suspect(s).

CRIME WATCH: Stolen black Altima

December 31, 2019 2:37 pm
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 |   Crime | West Seattle news | White Center

One more stolen vehicle to add to the list: Araceli‘s black 2015 Nissan Altima, plates BAE1041, taken in White Center on Monday. (As there’s a lot of cross-city/county-border vehicle dumping, we’ll report WC thefts when we hear about them too.) Looks like this stock photo. Call 911 if you see it.

HOLIDAY GIVING: Food and warmth for those in need

(WSB photos)

Volunteers of all ages – and multiple faiths, including Judaism and Islam – spent part of this Christmas Day providing food and warmth to neighbors in need

They served Christmas lunch in White Center, in the parking lot between 14th and 15th SW, just south of Roxbury. Volunteers from local congregations and other groups usually serve a meal there on Saturdays, but this was special for the holiday.

We heard about this from Kate at Kol HaNeshamah, who said they were also distributing “gift bags comprised of donated socks, hats, blankets, snacks, hand warmers,”etc., collected and assembled by the congregations that are part of the Westside Interfaith Network.

FOLLOWUP: Student’s ‘Bringing Warmth’ donation drive – extended!

Good news if you don’t make it to Good Day Donuts (9823 15th SW) by 1 pm for Chief Sealth IHS senior Emily Un‘s “Bringing Warmth” caat/blanket collection – the folks at the shop say they’ll keep a bin throughout the holidays so you can drop off a donation some other day. GDD is open 7 am-2 pm Tuesdays-Fridays, 8 am-2 pm Saturdays, 9 am-1 pm Sundays.

Urban Animal veterinary care: Welcome, new West Seattle Blog sponsor!

Today we’re welcoming a new WSB sponsor, Urban Animal, a pet-care clinic now open at 17th/Roxbury in White Center. Here’s what they would like you to know

We strongly believe in “people and pets over profits” and that all pet owners should have access to affordable, high quality, option-based pet care. To that end, we employ some of the most highly trained general-practice veterinary professionals in the area who are committed to providing “gold standard” veterinary care to every patient that visits Urban Animal. Most of our doctors have advanced training beyond veterinary school, and many of our staff have worked in referral and specialty medicine practices. Our unique walk-in model allows us to help people and pets when they need it most. Whether it’s a routine exam, vaccine, or an urgent-care situation, they don’t have to wait to get an appointment to have their pet’s needs taken care of.

(Cherri Trusheim, DWM, Urban Animal owner)

Our clients often say they feel the difference with Urban Animal immediately when they walk thru the door. Our staff is not only focused on the patients (pets) but also on our clients’ individual needs and situations. We often hear that people appreciate our candor and “zero up-sell” approach, which is part of our option-based, affordable-care philosophy. We firmly believe that the cost of owning a happy, healthy pet shouldn’t be overwhelming.

(Kevin Reed, DVM, White Center Urban Animal doctor)

We are committed to giving back to the communities we serve and support a number of non-profit organizations throughout Seattle including Mary’s Place and Pet Project. This allows us to provide pet care for those who often need it most but can’t afford it. The pets in these people lives often make a world of difference to them.

(White Center Urban Animal photo booth)

Urban Animal‘s White Center location is at 9610 17th SW, open 8 am-8 pm Mondays-Tuesdays, 9 am-6 pm Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays (closed Thursdays), 206-257-1524.

We thank Urban Animal for sponsoring independent, community-collaborative neighborhood news via WSB; find our current sponsor team listed in directory format here, and find info on joining the team by going here.

Why the Guardian One helicopter was over White Center and South Delridge

Took a while to get the details on this but for everyone who asked why the Guardian One helicopter was looping over White Center and South Delridge for a while – it was part of a search for someone who robbed an employee of Proletariat Pizza (9622 16th SW) in the alley behind the business, says King County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Sgt. Ryan Abbott. He says a robber armed with a handgun took the employee’s wallet and cell phone “and fled northbound into Seattle on a bike.”

State Sen. Joe Nguyen to serve coffee and Q&A tomorrow

August 26, 2019 6:53 pm
|    Comments Off on State Sen. Joe Nguyen to serve coffee and Q&A tomorrow
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle politics | White Center

With a few months to go until the state Legislature starts its next session, maybe you have a question or comment for 34th District State Sen. Joe Nguyen. Tomorrow afternoon, 3-4 pm, you can talk with him during a “coffee hour” unlike the typical elected-official coffee hour – he’ll be at the White Center Starbucks (9862 16th SW) “serving lattes and meeting with constituents to chat and take questions from behind the bar!” as his staff describes the plan. All welcome.

BIZNOTE: Biscuit Bitch sets White Center opening date

Three and a half months after we first reported that Biscuit Bitch would expand to White Center, its opening date is set. We talked with proprietor Kimmie Spice at the new location (9602 16th SW) today and she told us it’ll open Thursday, September 5th. It’s just about ready to go:

Biscuit Bitch already has three locations downtown; see the menu here.

CRIME WATCH: White Center rapist wanted for attacking victim after jail release

ORIGINAL TUESDAY REPORT: We’ve received multiple inquiries about this case and contacted the King County Sheriff’s Office to find out more. Spokesperson Sgt. Ryan Abbott told us a news release would be out shortly, and here it is:

Francisco Carranza-Ramirez, a 35-year-old male from White Center, was just released from jail on June 13, 2019 on a rape charge from a 2018 incident.

As part of his guilty plea, Carranza-Ramirez was issued a sexual assault protection order that stated he cannot have any contact with the victim or her residence. On June 15th, a few days after his release, Carranza-Ramirez violated the protection order by being within 1000 feet of the same victim. The following day, the suspect assaulted the victim, knocking her out of her wheelchair, strangled her, and threatened to kill her. Deputies arrived on-scene but the suspect fled prior to their arrival. He was not located.

Detectives believe Carranza-Ramirez is still in the White Center area and is homeless. He is also believed to still have long hair like his photo. The Sheriff’s Office urges anyone with information of where Francisco Carranza-Ramirez is to call 9-1-1.

According to the court documents in the original case, Carranza-Ramirez and the victim were acquaintances in passing, living in the same WC neighborhood, and then he started stalking her, raping her twice last September, both times with her 2-year-old son in the apartment. He was arrested after the second incident and had been in jail since then, almost nine months, until his release on June 13th after pleading guilty.

THURSDAY UPDATE: KCSO says they now believe Carranza-Ramirez is in Mexico.

Flag-raising celebration launches first White Center Pride

Over the little park at Delridge/Roxbury/16th, the official White Center Pride flag is flying after a celebration and ceremony tonight, launching five days of first-ever festivities. The small plaza outside Mac’s Triangle Pub filled with more than 100 people:

Among them, two elected officials from West Seattle – King County Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht and County Councilmember Joe McDermott:

Though they both spoke briefly, the program was heavier on entertainment, with drag performers and and dancers:

For video clips from the performances as well as the flag-raising countdown and cheering, see our coverage on partner site White Center Now.

FOLLOWUP: 4th Avenue SW reopens after month-long closure

(WSB photo, looking south toward 4th SW from Roxbury)

4th Avenue SW, closed for a month of work south of SW Roxbury, is open again. We just noticed it while passing by – and construction manager Joshua Bowen with the King County Housing Authority just sent the notice confirming most of the work is complete:

Following the successful construction of 4th Avenue SW, we are reopening the road! Please note
that there will be no parking for the first few weeks as we complete landscaping, concrete detailing, and pedestrian lighting. Also, we will need to close the road briefly to complete a few details in the roadway (painting/striping). Thank you for your patience as we beautify your road.

This road improvement of 1,300 feet of 4th Avenue SW in the Greenbridge Community of the White Center neighborhood includes surface water runoff water quality upgrades, storm water infrastructure, channelization, signage, traffic calming measures, improved pedestrian crossings, street paving, pedestrian lighting, and landscaping.

The project was originally planned for earlier this spring but had to be delayed to a late-April start.

PHOTOS: White Center gets brassy for HONK! Fest West 2019

You can walk, run, dance in the street for two more hours as HONK! Fest West bands play White Center on the second day of this year’s festival. Bands change every 20 minutes on the four stages along 16th SW south of Roxbury, so just a quick visit will get you a chance to check out a lot of music.

(WSB photos)

If you don’t get to White Center by 6 pm today, HONK! Fest West moves to Columbia City for its final day, 2-6 pm tomorrow.

3 DAYS, 3 NEIGHBORHOODS: Almost time for HONK! Fest West 2019

May 30, 2019 8:46 pm
|    Comments Off on 3 DAYS, 3 NEIGHBORHOODS: Almost time for HONK! Fest West 2019
 |   South Park | West Seattle news | White Center

(2018 WSB photo)

Another quick weekend preview: Tomorrow night, HONK! Fest West starts three days of fun, free music in the streets in three nearby neighborhoods: 5-9 pm Friday at three spots in South Park, 1-6 pm Saturday at four in White Center, 2-6 pm Sunday at two in Columbia City. Bands, times, locations are all listed here. Haven’t been to HONK! Fest West (which visited West Seattle back in 2010)? It’s explained here.

COUNTDOWN: Highline Bears’ season opener on Saturday

May 29, 2019 9:27 pm
|    Comments Off on COUNTDOWN: Highline Bears’ season opener on Saturday
 |   Fun stuff to do | West Seattle news | White Center | WS & Sports

That downtown baseball team breaking your heart? The Highline Bears (WSB sponsor) are ready to win you over.

(Photo courtesy Highline Bears)

The summer collegiate-baseball team has 24 home games at Mel Olson Stadium in nearby Steve Cox Memorial Park this season, starting Saturday night, and they’re hoping to open the season with their first-ever sellout. From the team’s announcement:

The Bears aren’t just your normal baseball game; they make sure that every person who enters the ballpark has a night they will never forget. From the music over the PA system, between-inning contests, give-aways, games, and races, the Bears take a baseball game and turn it into a circus. The first batter of the Bears season will actually be a fan (18 or older) who is chosen at random through a raffle before the game. The Bears will have a fan batter of the night two times a month during non- league games.

Don’t forget to save your appetite for the ballpark as the Bears concession stand provides some of the best value you’ll find at a baseball game. With affordable prices, the concession stand offers all beef 1⁄4 lb hot dogs, Seattle Dogs, Ivar’s Clam Chowder, loaded baked potatoes, pulled-pork sandwiches, loaded nachos, and even a pulled-pork sundae.

The Highline Bears are giving-a-way magnet schedules to the first 250 fans through the gates just like the Mariners do. The unofficial Mayor of White Center will be throwing out the ceremonial first pitch and Shorewood Elementary choir will be singing the national anthem.

Adult tickets are $8 or $5, youth/seniors $5, kids 8 and under free with a paying adult. You can get yours in advance of your trip to the ballpark (1321 SW 102nd) for Saturday’s 7:10 pm game vs. the Laces – the highest ticket price at $8 for adults, youth and seniors are $5 and kids 8 and under are always free with a paying adult. Just go here!

BIZNOTE: Biscuit Bitch coming to White Center

When Chef Case Justham announced the closure of Brass Knuckle Bistro (9602 16th SW) – as reported on our partner site White Center Now – he added, “We’ve got a great buyer taking over, an iconic local spot that will be a perfect fit for the neighborhood, that I’m sure everyone will be extremely excited about.”

Post-closure, a handwritten note on the door named that “iconic local spot” as Biscuit Bitch, a sassy spot for breakfast/brunch, with three downtown locations – Pike Place, Pioneer Square, and Belltown. We’ve finally confirmed the White Center expansion plan, after reaching BB by phone today. No estimate yet for when they’ll open, we were told, but they’ve taken over the space. Never been to Biscuit Bitch? Here’s the menu.

CRIME WATCH: Gunfire investigations in White Center, West Seattle

Two gunfire investigations in the past 12 hours:

WHITE CENTER: Thanks for all the tips on this afternoon’s 16th SW gunfire. Deputies say people in two vehicles exchanged gunfire, both missing but hitting a third, the minivan in our photo above. No injuries. We’re updating the story on our partner site White Center Now.

WEST SEATTLE: Though we were on the desk until 4:30 am, we didn’t hear anything about this until an email question at midday about gunfire heard around 3 am. Checking the SPD automated Tweets by Beats, we found a call categorized as “drive-by shooting/no injuries” in the Fauntleroy/Edmunds vicinity about that time. No further details.