by Ben Adlin
White Center community leaders and small-business owners say they’re disappointed with King County officials’ response to a string of fires, break-ins, and vandalism that in recent months has devastated the area’s commercial hub.
They describe the situation as yet another example of how unincorporated parts of the county lack sufficient services and government support. But County officials say they’re responding to White Center fires and have made progress addressing the community’s concerns.
Continue reading White Center Community Frustrated by Delayed Response to Fires
by Ben Adlin
After a string of suspected arson fires, break-ins, and vandalism in White Center over the past several months, small-business owners and community advocates are demanding action from county officials, who they say have chronically neglected the unincorporated part of King County.
At an online community action meeting on Friday, Oct. 8, merchants and organizers presented a petition to county officials, seeking more investment in victim relief, heightened security, and a more transparent relationship with the King County Sheriff’s Department, which patrols the area.
“We are being forgotten,” said Ana Castro, co-owner of the Salvadorean Bakery and Restaurant, which has been in White Center for more than 25 years. Castro said she’s spent more than $4,000 to replace the bakery’s large plate-glass windows after they were broken, and some staff are now afraid to come into work after dark.
“Something has to be done,” she said at the meeting. “We need more accountability from our representatives. We need them to come around here. We live it every single day.”
Continue reading Facing Arson and Vandalism, White Center Businesses Say King County Has ‘Forgotten’ Them
by Jack Russillo
A string of recent late-night fires around Rainier Avenue South have been deemed as intentionally set, Seattle Fire Department officials say.
The fire that scorched a construction site with four three-story buildings under construction on the 1000 block of Sturgus Avenue South around 5:40 a.m. Thursday morning was the ninth fire in the area since mid-July and the second in a matter of hours in the north Beacon Hill neighborhood. A few blocks to the south, on the corner of Rainier Avenue South and 23rd Avenue South, the Rainier Farmers Market was set ablaze around 3:15 a.m., for the third time in a single week and the fourth time this summer. Continue reading A String of “Intentionally Set” Fires Hits Structures Around Rainier Avenue South