NEWS GLEAMS: White Center Fire Recovery, SPL New Hours, & More!

curated by Emerald Staff

A round-up of news and announcements we don’t want to get lost in the fast-churning news cycle!


✨Gleaming This Week✨


Photo of the burned exterior of the Lumber Yard Bar, Rat City Tattoo, and The Boxing Gym Westside in White Center.
A two-alarm fire that quickly spread through businesses near the intersection of 16th Avenue Southwest and Southwest Roxbury Street in the heart of White Center in the early hours of Monday, July 5, 2021, has had a devastating impact on six local businesses. (Photo courtesy of King County Fire Protection District #2.)

King County Budget Includes $2 Million for White Center Fire Recovery

King County Councilmember Joe McDermott applauded a $2 million amendment to the County’s $672 million supplemental budget which passed last week. The money will go towards economic recovery in White Center, which has suffered a string of fires and burglaries this summer. McDermott brought the funding as an amendment to the budget legislation.

“This investment in economic recovery will have a tangible impact on how the County can support the White Center community in the year ahead,” McDermott said in a press release from his office. “From the pandemic to long-standing challenges for legacy businesses, this economic emergency brought on by the fires this year only heightened the need to ensure White Center can maintain an equitable, thriving community in the years ahead. I greatly appreciate my colleagues’ support for this community that, while struggling now, has incredible potential.”

The County’s funding came after White Center residents and small business owners expressed frustration over the County’s response to fires, burglaries, and vandalisms which have struck the area’s downtown core.The White Center Community Development Association is holding a “Remembrance Walk: Honoring Displaced Storefronts” on Saturday, Dec. 4. “We are inviting all White Center community members and storefront supporters to this Remembrance Walk Action against commercial displacement on Saturday, Dec. 4, from 3 to 5 p.m. starting on 16th Avenue Southwest and Southwest 98th Street.”


Two Opportunities in Tech Education and Entrepreneurship

Find Ventures with a Jan. 31 application deadline:

Sourced from Find Ventures: “Find Ventures, a Washington State-based nonprofit whose mission is to fund entrepreneurs, in partnership with the Washington State Department of Commerce, today launched a new Equitable Innovations Accelerator to fuel the start-up community at the earliest stage of business development. This program aims to make ‘entrepreneurship for all’ a reality by prioritizing entrepreneurs from underserved and historically marginalized communities.

“The Equitable Innovations Accelerator is a first-of-its-kind program to provide 10 technology start-ups with up to $100,000 in non-dilutive philanthropic grants, programming, and access to mentors and coaches. ‘Access to first financing rounds is difficult for a brand-new start-up founder, especially if they are Black, Latinx, Indigenous, People of Color, women, LGBTQIA+ or non-binary. Accessing start-up funding verges on impossible for those without connections to mentors, investors, talent and resources,’ said Find Ventures cofounder Elizabeth Scallon. ‘Find Ventures wants to change that paradigm.’

“The application for the Equitable Innovations Accelerator can be found at www.findventures.org/equitable-innovator-accelerator/. Business founders and entrepreneurs who may have experienced difficulty gaining access to traditional sources of capital are especially encouraged to apply.

“Two optional information events are scheduled for prospective applicants: Dec. 6, 2021, and Jan. 14, 2022. Find the registration links here: www.findventures.org/equitable-innovator-accelerator/.”

Amazon Future Engineer scholarships with a Jan. 25 deadline:

Sourced from Amazon Future Engineer press release: “Did you know that only 50% of schools in the U.S. teach computer science? Amazon Future Engineer works to increase access to computer science education for children and young adults from underserved and historically underrepresented communities.

“If you know a student who’s interested in pursuing a degree in computer science, the Amazon Future Engineer Scholarship program provides students with a $40,000 scholarship and a paid summer internship at Amazon. Interested students — including children of Amazonians — are now eligible to apply at amazonfutureengineer.com/scholarship by January 25, 2022.”


Photo of the exterior of the Columbia City Library Branch in Seattle
Image attributed to javacolleen via Flickr (under a Creative Commons, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 license).

The Seattle Public Library Restores Pre-Pandemic Open Hours at Most Libraries Dec. 6

Beginning next week, The Seattle Public Library (SPL) will expand open hours at most locations, including the Rainier Beach and Columbia City branches. With this expansion, 20 of SPL’s 27 locations will have returned to their pre-pandemic operating schedules, and every location will be open at least six days a week and offer evening hours at least two days a week. A complete list of SPL locations and hours can be found here.

Due to continued staffing shortages and other operational hurdles resulting from the pandemic, the full expansion of hours at seven libraries will be delayed until early 2022. The Central Library, which currently offers evening hours on Wednesdays until 8 p.m., will offer additional evening hours on Thursdays until 8 p.m. but will not add Monday and Tuesday evening hours until 2022. You can find more details and updates from The Seattle Public Library’s Road to Reopening webpage here.


County Seeks Feedback on Future of White Center and Surrounding Communities

King County is looking for community feedback to its North Highline Community Service Area Subarea Plan and Land Use and Zoning Map Amendments, critical planning documents that will guide decisions on land use and zoning for White Center, South Park, Greenbridge, Top Hat, Glendale, and Roxhill.

“The Subarea Plan expresses the community’s vision for the future and establishes policies that will guide decisions that affect the neighborhood for years to come,” the County said in a press release. “Your feedback is vital to ensuring that the collective wisdom of the community is part of this plan.  You can provide input by taking this survey. Your feedback is vital to ensuring that the collective wisdom of the community is part of this plan.”

The comment period was extended from Nov. 28 through Dec. 19.

“These are the multiple ways to share your thoughts about the plan:

  • Complete survey at www.publicinput.com/northhighlinesurvey and follow the process for providing comments on the Subarea Plan and Land Use and Zoning Map Amendments. This website also provides information and accepts comments in multiple languages.
  • Email to subareaplanning@kingcounty.gov. Please make sure that the subject line contains “North Highline.”
  • US Mail: 
    Jacqueline Reid
    35030 SE Douglas Street, Suite 210
    Snoqualmie, WA 98065-9266
  • Phone/voicemail: 206-263-3000”

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