A retired B-52 rolled (carefully) down I-5 & SR 405 en route to its new home in Tukwila Tuesday, but first the mammoth aircraft had to squeeze around a corner near Raisbeck Aviation High School.

The giant, historic jet will end up on display at a Vietnam Veterans Memorial Park located next to the school.

The retired Boeing B-52G ‘Stratofortress’ once served in Vietnam during ‘Operation Linebacker II’ in December 1972, and contributed to the release of 591 U.S. POWs.

The exhibit will open on Veteran’s Day – Sunday, Nov. 11, 2018.

Raisbeck Aviation High School is located near the Museum of Flight at 9229 E Marginal Way South:

Why Business and Government Relationships Matter

By Andrea H. Reay
Seattle Southside Chamber of Commerce

Our Chamber of Commerce is proud of the relationships we’ve built with local government; both our elected officials and city staff. Why are these relationships and the open dialogue created beneficial to our members and our community? How are these relationships vital for our elected officials when they are exploring solutions to the issues that matter most to our community? Simply put, because economic cooperation and our ability to collaborate will always achieve better results.
Businesses are obviously impacted by public policy decisions. But so are consumers. The most obvious being taxing and regulations. The recent head tax debates in Seattle underscore that reality quite clearly. Although the head tax directly impacts over 500 businesses within the City of Seattle, many more businesses and consumers in and outside of the city will be impacted indirectly as their increased costs are ultimately passed on to their customers. This balance between public and private interests often, unfortunately, turns into an “us vs them” debate which is discouraging and self-defeating for all. The truth is that business interests are often also public interests and are not mutually exclusive ideals. Here are just a few examples of areas where public and private interests align and where we as a Chamber are proud to support and advocate for:

Research and Development: Whether we’re talking about researching cures for Cancer or eliminating climate change with alternative energy or new technology, investments from the public and private sector, working together, is mutually beneficial for all.

Economic Development: A robust and dynamic economy is good for business and the public. When businesses are successful more taxes are collected, and more public programs and investments are funded. Those investments include many necessary public services such as police and fire. Washington State businesses pay 57.6% of the total taxes collected in our state. That ranks us 7th in the nation.

Education: the most valuable resource in the Southside region is the people who live and work here. Our businesses and communities can only prosper with the right investments that improve the ability for people to thrive and find jobs.

We are grateful for the relationships that we have built with our public partners and are committed to creating opportunities to bring city and regional business leaders together to interact, strengthen ties, and forge new relationships. One of these opportunities is just around the corner, our State of Our Cities Luncheon.

The luncheon will be held on Friday, June 8, from 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., at the Radisson Hotel in SeaTac. Parking is limited, and attendees are encouraged to carpool. Thank you to our host, the Radisson and our Annual Luncheon Sponsor-Alaska Airlines and our Event Sponsors Baker Commodities, Crain Photography, Waste Management and South King Media. Please visit http://www.seattlesouthsidechamber.com/events/details/state-of-our-cities-luncheon-1037 for more information and to register or call our office during normal business hours (206) 575-1633 and we’ll be happy to get you registered over the phone.

Thank you to all our public partners and business and community members that are committed to working together in collaboration and partnership. We truly are stronger together. Thank you for your commitment to and for our community.

Andrea H. Reay is the President/CEO of Seattle Southside Chamber of Commerce – “A voice for business, a leader in the community.” Seattle Southside Chamber has served the communities of Burien, Des Moines, Normandy Park, SeaTac and Tukwila since 1988.

For more information on the Chamber, including member benefits and resources, please visit www.SeattleSouthsideChamber.com.

By Scott Schaefer

King County Executive Dow Constantine on Wednesday (May 23) announced a proposal that would change the intended allocation of lodging tax dollars away from the local tourism industry, beginning in 2021.

Constantine is proposing to shift money previously promised to support tourism promotion – first passed in 2011 as ESSB 5834 – and re-direct funds to non-marketing activities, and this has some local leaders concerned.

Constantine’s proposal would reallocate tax revenues away from the tourism biz and towards arts programs, museums, workforce housing, transit-oriented housing development and services for homeless youth.

Lodging taxes would also be allocated to two regional public facilities districts – Safeco Field and the accesso ShoWare Center in Kent – for upkeep of basic stadium infrastructure.

“To direct dedicated tourism promotion dollars to Safeco Field maintenance and the already well funded 4Culture without a conversation with Seattle Southside Regional Tourism Authority – a public development authority created for regional tourism marketing – is simply wrong,” Katherine Kertzman, President & CEO of the Seattle Southside Regional Tourism Authority told The B-Town Blog.

Seattle Southside RTA is the official destination marketing organization for SeaTac, Des Moines and Tukwila, and markets the region to leisure and business travelers as well as meeting and event planners. It is funded by a self-assessed hotel fund and supported by a lodging tax from the cities of SeaTac, Tukwila and Des Moines.

First, some background on Constantine’s new proposal from the county:

“Beginning in 2021, by state statute, King County will transfer 37.5 percent of lodging tax revenue – roughly $13.5 million annually and expected to rise over time – to 4Culture to support art, cultural and heritage facilities, as well as the performing arts.

“Also under state law, another 37.5 percent will be directed to the county Department of Community and Human Services to support transit-oriented housing development or services for homeless youth.

“King County Executive Dow Constantine proposes allocating the remaining funds beginning in 2021 to programs and facilities that attract visitors to the region, as directed by state statute. This would include a new fund, in coordination with the visitor industry, to bring tourists and business travelers to the region, an allocation to the public facilities districts that own Safeco Field and the ShoWare Center, and other investments as determined by the King County Council.

“In 2021, the Washington State Major League Baseball Stadium Public Facilities District, which owns Safeco Field, is expected to receive approximately $4 million of the $36 million total.

“The dollars would be part of a Capital Expenditure Fund to maintain the 20 year-old ballpark, such as plumbing, electrical, HVAC systems, and retractable roof upkeep. The Mariners also contribute to the Capital Expenditure Fund, as does the Washington State Major League Baseball Stadium Public Facilities District via parking and ticket taxes.

“Under the proposed motion, the City of Kent Special Events Center Public Facilities District will receive about $203,000 of lodging tax in 2021 to support capital maintenance of the ShoWare Center sports and events facility in Kent.”

Katherine Kertzman

“We’re looking for a conversation with Dow to modify the motion and hope to carve out a portion of the King County 2% state shared lodging tax for Seattle Southside RTA, given we represent a significant number of hotel rooms in the county,” Kertzman said. “And tourism and travel is an important industry in our communities. It is critically important we invest in destination marketing to replenish the funds as was promised in the original legislation negotiations.”

Kertzman added that Constantine’s proposal “will have a very negative ripple effect on the economic vitality of our region,” in a letter she sent to him on Thursday, May 24:

“As you well know, travel and tourism are a major economic driver for all of King County and Washington State. In the Seattle Southside cities of Des Moines, SeaTac and Tukwila, tourism generates a return on investment of more than $40 for every dollar spent marketing the region to visitors. That impact makes us the rival of many regions around the country and the world.

“Seattle Southside employs 5,000 people in the tourism industry with visitors spending a record $726 million with $75.4 million generated in local and state tax receipts.

“Our ongoing commitment to promoting tourism translates to increased job opportunities, tax receipts, and revenue for our hotels, restaurants, attractions and amenities. The next effect is that tourism saves the average homeowner in our region $916 in taxes each year.

“We fully support the original plan to invest lodging tax dollars that are earmarked for ongoing tourism promotion, 4Culture and affordable housing initiatives. But we all must realize that tourism promotion has proven to be an incredibly valuable investment in our community, providing economic benefit not just for citizens and businesses, but also for making possible many other community services.

“Please be aware that directing lodging tax dollars away from tourism promotion and marketing will have a very negative ripple effect on the economic vitality of our region and it will do nothing to generate new business that will replenish the fund.”

“Tourism Marketing is a very good investment,” Kertzman added. “We urge county leadership and budget negotiators to make certain the County honors the original intent of the 2011 legislation and invest a portion of King County lodging tax in tourism promotion and marketing that generate overnight stays in paid accommodations in our region. The lodging tax investment in tourism marketing by the County will provide almost immediate returns on the investment to State, County and local coffers.”

Here are more concerns that both the Seattle Southside RTA and the Seattle Southside Chamber of Commerce have:

  • “We fully support the original plan to invest King County lodging tax dollars that are earmarked for ongoing tourism promotion, 4Culture and affordable housing initiatives. The opportunities for a return on the County’s investment through a tourism marketing program will continue to help grow our local economies.
  • “The lodging tax investment in tourism marketing by the County will provide almost immediate returns on the investment to state, county and local coffers. The important tax and spending revenue generated by travel and tourism will make a difference for years to come.
  • “The total estimated visitor spending in 2017 for just the combined cities of SeaTac, Tukwila and Des Moines was $719.6M. Day travel represents less than 4% of all visitor spending while overnight travel in paid accommodations generates 93% of the total visitor spend.
  • “Southwest King County represents over 8,000 hotel rooms, the second largest grouping of hotels in the state. To grow local tourism revenues, King County must invest more in promoting overnight stays in paid accommodations.
  • “The creation of the Seattle Southside Regional Tourism Authority – a public development authority created for regional tourism marketing – was necessary to ensure accountability and a return on the communities’ investment.
  • “It is important for government follow through on their public promises in an open and transparent way.
  • “Four out of five tourism-related companies are small businesses.
  • “Highest employer of women and minorities.
  • “Tourism consumer marketing returns $42.86 in new visitor spending to the communities of Seattle Southside Regional Tourism Authority for every $1 spent.”

King County Councilmember Dave Upthegrove, who represents the south end’s District 5, isn’t a fan of Constantine’s proposal:

“South King County will benefit most if we spend regional tourism promotion dollars on attracting overnight guests. The hotel industry and broader service industry in SeaTac in particular is an economic engine that provides good jobs. Using $180 million to offset costs for one business (the Mariners) doesn’t do squat for our community in South King County. The Mariners are here to stay; it’s just a question of whether they pay their own cost or whether we give them $180 million in public county tourism money to offset their expenses.”

Constantine’s proposal will be forwarded to the council by December 31, 2019, “in order to inform the budget process for the 2021 – 2022 budget.”

Tukwila Police are reporting that a drive-by shooting on I-405 – just south of I-5 in Tukwila – injured a victim in the arm and blocked two lanes of the freeway Thursday afternoon, May 24.

Police say that the shooting is believed to be a result of road rage.

The victim, an adult male in his 40s, was conscious and alert when he was taken by ambulance to the hospital.

The suspect vehicle was a gold Toyota sedan.

All lanes of I-405 were reopened.

The Seattle Southside Chamber of Commerce will be holding its ‘State of our Cities Luncheon’ (formerly known as the Annual Mayors’ Luncheon) in partnership with the cities of Burien, Des Moines, Normandy Park, SeaTac and Tukwila on Friday, June 8, 2018.

The luncheon will be held from 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the Radisson Hotel Seattle Airport, 18118 International Blvd, SeaTac 98188 (map below). Parking is limited and attendees are encouraged to carpool.

This luncheon is presented in partnership with cities and elected officials within the Chamber’s service area of Southwest King County.

The event will also feature a panel discussion and Q&A.

It will also be broadcast live by South King Media on The B-Town Blog’s Facebook page (be sure to “Like” the page here to be alerted to the live feed).

“We look forward to this opportunity to bring city and regional business leaders together to interact, strengthen ties, and forge new relationships” said Andrea Reay, President/CEO of Seattle Southside Chamber.

“Thank you to our host, Radisson Hotel Seattle Airport and our Annual Luncheon Sponsor-Alaska Airlines and all our Event Sponsors: Waste Management, Baker Commodities, Crain Photography South King Media,” Reay added.

The Seattle Southside Chamber of Commerce also announced an exciting opportunity courtesy of the generosity of board member Mike Bulleri, Division General Manager of Baker Commodities – a giveaway of main level Seattle Mariners tickets.

Everyone who attends the event will receive an opportunity to win tickets, with the chance to increase your odds of winning as well by purchasing additional entries at the luncheon – must be present to win!

Also featured at this luncheon will be special guest Buntly from the Highline Bears. The Chamber is proud to partner with the Highline Bears to raise money for the Matt Griffin YMCA with a special “Chamber Night” at the ball park on July 21. More details will be available at the luncheon so don’t miss this great opportunity to get a photo with Buntly, secure your tickets for Chamber Night with the Highline Bears and learn about the priorities and work each of our municipalities and your elected officials are focused on.

Space is limited at the luncheon so don’t forget to register early to reserve your seat. Register online here:


…or call the office during regular office hours (206) 575-1633.

About the Seattle Southside Chamber of Commerce
The Seattle Southside Chamber of Commerce is a non-profit business organization that has served the communities of Burien, Des Moines, Normandy Park, SeaTac and Tukwila since 1988.  The Chamber focuses on business advancement in the region by helping to build and maintain a strong economic environment.

For more info, visit http://www.seattlesouthsidechamber.com.

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Looking for a beautiful brand new space with fast WiFi and free digital downloads?

Host Terry Tazioli takes ‘King County Reads’ to the Tukwila Library.

On Saturday, April 21, 2018, the Black Education Strategy Roundtable (BESR) held its Quarterly Member Meeting at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Tukwila.

BESR is a volunteer-led coalition of African American individuals, groups, organizations and other committed individuals that actively advocate for and provide information to policymakers at all levels about the disparate conditions of educational achievement for Black students in the state of Washington, which impacts all facets of life and our communities.

The BESR meeting – moderated by Executive Director Steve Smith – focused on school budgets and the importance of community members to question and engage in the budgeting process. Dr. Calvin Watts, Superintendent of the Kent School District, provided an update on the status of their district and budget. The KSD budget deficit crisis began before Dr. Watts’ tenure as Superintendent, and he and Chief Accountability Officer Dr. Jewelle Harmon provided an overview of the district’s work, along with accomplishments and strategy for correcting their budget.

Watts has been under fire recently, with many calling for his resignation as well as for more funding for local schools. The heat on Watts and his staff started after the district announced a plan to lay off 127 full-time staff positions. That plan was canceled when Gov. Jay Inslee signed SB 6362, which allocates $75 million to the district.

Here’s an excerpt from a live Facebook video of Watts’ presentation at the BESR meeting:

Also of note – on Wednesday, April 25, 2018, a special Kent School Board meeting was held, where the district’s budget was presented.

Over the next three months, school districts will finalize their 2018-2019 budgets. Dr. Thelma Jackson, former Thurston School District Director and former President of the Washington State School Directors Association (WSSDA), presented an overview of the school district budgeting process, with an emphasis on the role of the local school board. As a school board member, Dr. Jackson was concerned about the limited budget information provided to school directors. She led a team of school finance experts to develop a budget oversight training program for directors. This training remains a critical component of WSSDA’s annual training conference for school directors.

Dr. Jackson provided members with tools, questions, and standards for determining the quality of budget oversight school boards are providing.

Does your school district incorporate the following to ensure a successful school budget?

  • Establish fiscal policies to clarify board expectations
  • Establish budget priorities based on the district’s strategy plan or long-range goals
  • Involve administrators in budget preparation 6 to 12 months before budget adoption
  • Involve community throughout the budget process
  • Prepare a “popular” budget in a format that facilitates understanding of the educational, revenue and expenditure plans, and how they relate to previous and future budget plans

Click Here for a PDF of the complete packet of information provided by Dr. Jackson.

Also, BESR reminded all that they’re part of the upcoming May 9th GiveBIG fundraising program Visit the BESR webpage for additional information 

Harium Martin-Morris, the newest member of the State Board of Education, was welcomed to BESR by Dr. Jim Smith. Previously, Harium served for two-terms on the Seattle School Board and he is a Boeing retiree. Harium has already begun his work on the State Board of Education. As he did on the Seattle School Board, monitoring and setting policy on student discipline, as Black students are disproportionately impacted by this, will be a priority for him.

Finally, Kela Hall and Al Herron coordinated a live video streaming of the meeting.

“This is a first step in exploring options for expanding the work of BESR across the state and beyond,” Hall said. “In the near future, you can access the video of the meeting on the BESR website.”

“Your presence helped to make this Quarterly Meeting a great success and your enthusiasm and positive spirit helped make our time together both productive and fun,” Organizers added. “We wish you all the best and hope that you continue to be engaged with the BESR.”

Stay tuned for upcoming events by visiting the BESR calendar.  

Contact the Black Education Strategy Roundtable for additional information:

On Wednesday, April 18, King County Sheriff’s Detectives from Metro Transit had learned from several anonymous witnesses that a stack of notes had been left in a few Metro Bus stops along International Blvd. S. in the Tukwila area.

The suspect was wanting to pay a large amount of cash to underage females for their underwear, he even left his phone number for contact. A Detective made contact with the suspect – a 42-year old male from Burien – who had agreed to meet with the Detective, who he believed was a 14-year old girl. The suspect drove to meet with the detective posing as a 14-year old girl, and was arrested by Police.

Located in the suspect’s vehicle was a handgun, machete, large amount of cash, gunny sacks, tarp, hatchet and duct tape.

“Great job by KCSO Detectives, to arrest a suspected pedophile and possibly prevent a murder,” Sgt. Ryan Abbott said. “The suspect was booked into King County Jail for investigation of communicating sex abuse of a minor and investigation of communicating with a minor for immoral purposes.”

Attached is an actual picture of the suspect’s notes:

If anyone recognizes the note or had contact with the suspect please call the King County Sheriff’s Office at 206/296-3311.

From our friends at the Tukwila Police Department:

Blotter for Monday, April 16, 2018. A lot of shoplifting incidents throughout the day and this most suspicious vehicle parked right here in Tukwila! (Photo compliments of Officer Hernandez):

Suspicious Report 189345
12400 blk Tukwila Int Blvd
A large number of officers responded to a call around 3:30AM from a business reporting that two subjects with guns were trying to break in. Officers responded and cleared the building. No one was located. They observed that the reporting party was pointing at walls stating people were watching and were still there. Believed to be a mental health issue.

Mail Theft 189359
800 blk Industry Dr
Mail thieves struck and stole mail out of a commercial mailbox.

Malicious Mischief 189366
3700 blk Southcenter Blvd
Someone with a desperate need to smoke the devils lettuce out of the rain kicked in the door to a maintenance room at our problem apartment complex, indulged themselves and left. Damage to the door and door frame.

Shoplift 189380
17100 blk Southcenter Pkwy
A male with no sense of reasonableness took a large vacuum still in the box and walked out the front door like that wouldn’t raise any red flags. When contacted by loss prevention, he ran and hid in a bathroom of a nearby business probably to flush whatever he had on him. He then took off running from there and was not located. Unfortunately for him, we know who he is a sent him a coupon for a free court appearance in the mail.

Shoplift/Warrant Arrest 189399
17100 blk Southcenter Pkwy
This time it was a female trying her hand at shoplifting. When officers contacted her, it was apparent that she is an old pro at it judging by the outstanding felony retail theft warrant that she had. She was booked on the warrant.

Shoplift 189401
Southcenter District
A female tried shoplifting and when contacted by loss prevention wouldn’t go with the program. She was located by officers and arrested.