READER PHOTOS: Car Goes Into Ditch on 1st Ave South & SW 119th Wednesday

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BTB Reader Xanna Don’t (yes, that’s the name she goes by) sent us the following pics and news about a car that went into a ditch on First Ave South and SW 119th Street in Burien Wednesday afternoon around 2:45 p.m.

“No other vehicles were involved,” she told The B-Town Blog. “But then police had to go to a home invasion robbery nearby, leaving the driver at the scene. Then the driver left. I can’t believe she was allowed to leave without a field sobriety test, at least that I saw…”

Xanna said the car was then left in the ditch, without the driver or any police around.

(if you see something you think is newsworthy in the B-Town area, you can always email [email protected] or text us at (206) 659-8768)

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21 Responses to “READER PHOTOS: Car Goes Into Ditch on 1st Ave South & SW 119th Wednesday”
  1. Barbara Walters says:

    Dumb. Isn’t that White Center?

    • Xanna Don't says:

      Hey Babs—Management here says Burien. Our daily postal carrier, who also had a bizarre encounter with that disoriented driver after the police left, says Burien. Google says Seattle and Conde Nast’s publications are fine with either. My wife and I came here from Atlanta recently; she was among 50+ news production professionals laid off from CNN en masse. Despite today’s flashback to the repetitive random crime of that major city, we like it here. Please don’t tell me the return address on my xmas cards has to say “White Center,” because after many lovely visits to Vino Bello and Elliot Bay Brew, one finally to The Tin Room, and several boxes of superior east coast quality pizza from Verona, all just a few blocks away, I truly feel like a Burien Betty in my heart. Welcome us, dahling? We may even share the same “view.”

      • Elizabeth says:

        Welcome to Burien… I think you’ll find that apart from some of the comments here on annexation most people here are pretty good folks who want to be good neighbors.

      • Shari says:

        Had to spend most of the ’90s and some of the ’00s in and around ATL before moving back here—so I totally get your joy at being a)not there and b)here and c)not there. Welcome. To whichever. (You’ll soon notice that there are lots of people with Burien addresses who don’t want to claim it and aren’t using it, so we have extras available for use by others). And the good news is that you wouldn’t necessarily expect to find it around here and you might think you’ve had to give it up to move here, but you CAN find great BBQ around here if you know where to look. again, Welcome.

      • getitright says:

        christanna, welcome to Burien. oops, it Xanna isn`t it?
        Just like Christmas isn`t xmas, it Christmas.

    • Marianne says:

      Burien, and what, they only have one police officer? So glad annexation failed.

  2. Amelia says:

    Apparently we’re the only ones that know YES it’s White Center the Burien line starts on 128th

  3. feral dog says:

    Looks like a safe place to park to me..

  4. Jack Block Jr. says:

    Welcome to Burien! You’re in the Beverly Park neighborhood. Yes, we need more cops. Burien was awarded a federal grant that would partially fund 3 new officers. Unfortunately, the majority of my colleagues, fixated on annexation, went along with the city manager’s proposal not to utilize all of these funds leaving 2 of the positions unfilled unless annexation went through, (Some of the grant was used to fund the SRO at Highline High).

    I hate to get wonkish, but things like cops aren’t free. Budgeting is a complex issue but I’ll try to be concise. Burien needs more cops and the Federal grant would pay about 1/3 of the cost of 3 deputies for 3 years. The city is statutorily restricted where it can seek additional funding, (yes, the T word, taxes). My proposal was to raise the car tab fee $10 and shift the solid waste franchise fee back the general fund. Didn’t go. Burien needs more than 2 cops, but it’s a start. Folks aren’t going to like it, I don’t like it, but I’d be willing to spend an extra $10 bucks a year to add more cops and I think most of Burien’s residents would grudgingly agree.

    I view public safety as my primary responsibility as a city councilmember. If I have to do unpopular things like proposing higher taxes to keep our city safe, that’s part of the job. If somebody has a SERIOUS and REALISTIC alternative, please share.

    • Elizabeth says:

      Jack Block Jr…. Thank you for the previous explanation on funding. Not following the councils every move, I have some questions: By two cops does that mean there are only two cops on duty at one time? In an extreme event are other officers available from other jurisdictions. Are the restrictions on funding you mention because of the Tim Eyeman initiatives? By “not go” do you mean that the council voted it down. Who voted it down and who supported it? Other than federal money are there any other ways to get more cops on the street? I think everyone in Burien (and other cities) is concerned about gangs, crime, etc. We need more understanding about these issues.

      • Jack Block Jr. says:



        Good questions. I’ll try to answer them as best I can. Some of this is off the top of my head, so if I’m off a bit please don’t hold it against me:

        Burien contracts with the KC Sheriffs Office for police services. We have 69 deputies, or 1.2 per thousand citizens, (the FBI recommends 2 per thousand residents). Some are patrol officers and some are detectives. The number of officers assigned per shift varies with day of week and time.

        As an aside, the cost for Burien in its contract with KCSO is about $218K a year per officer. This is about $20K a year per officer less than it would cost if Burien were to have its own police department. There’s more than just salary to pay for: cars, dispatchers, swat teams, etc.

        In an extreme event, officers from North Highline and Sea-Tac, (which also contracts with KCSO) respond. That’s why sometimes you’ll see Sea-Tac, Burien, and KCSO officers on the same crime scene. There are also inter-local cooperation agreements between cities with their own departments, (Tukwilla, Des Moines, etc) .

        Some of the funding restrictions are attributable to Eyeman initiatives, some to statutory limits, and some to restrictions placed by the legislature on what a municipality can and can’t levy taxes on. If the legislature were to give more funding flexibility to municipalities and counties, than there would be more opportunities to look at options that met local needs and weren’t regressive. An example of the regresivity of limited funding options forced on municipalities is the Seattle City Light electric utility fee increase proposed by the City Manager. An example of funding flexibility would be if the Legislature allowed municipalities to levy the B&O tax on liquor sales.

        By “not go”, I’m referring to Mayor Bennett asking the rest of the council if they wanted to go ahead with my proposal or not. I don’t recall exactly who was for or against, but its on the tape of the council meeting in October. I was PO’d it didn’t pass and didn’t keep exact track of who did what. It would be unfair for me to name names and then be wrong.

        As to other ways to get more cops on the street, I’m afraid that the answer is money out of our pockets. Other than federal grants and a dribble of state money, funding for police services is local. The KCSO is doing a great job with the resources they have. Unfortunately, Burien currently doesn’t have enough officers to do pro-active police work, i.e. preventing crime before it happens. Our Deputies are great responding to a life threatening event, less than 5 minutes, but spend all their time responding to calls. A statistic that helps illustrate this is that in 2011 in a city of 48,000 only 1,162 traffic citations were issued in Burien. Our officers literally don’t have time to do what would be considered normal crime prevention work. We need more officers so they can stop crime before it happens.

        Long and short of it, 2 more officers isn’t going to solve Burien’s public safety issues, but it’s a step in the right direction. Turning away a federal grant that pays part of the tab for 3 years doesn’t seem to me to be fiscally prudent. There are some things that I would have liked to have seen cut from the budget, but those cuts still wouldn’t have met the long term public safety funding issues we face. Burien’s budget is very, very lean. The biggest concern I hear from residents is public safety. They want more cops. We’re a community of modest means and limited resources. If they want to put more cops on the street Burien’s citizens are going to have to ask themselves two questions; “Can we afford it and are we willing to increase our taxes to pay for it?” In my opinion, raising taxes to meet our public safety shortcomings isn’t “tax and spend”, it’s seeing a need and investing in the safety and well being of our community

        Hope this answered your questions.

        • Elizabeth says:

          Thank you so much for the time you spent explaining all this. My north end friends think Burien has a terrible reputation. It’s driving down all our property values. I’m not sure we’re any worse off than anywhere else, but I would be more than willing to spend another $10 a year to get more cops on the street. I’d pay twice that for each car our household owns. Thanks again.

          • Elizabeth says:

            PS Don’t know where I got the 2 officers bit. Can’t even find it now in the previous column. It didn’t make sense when I read it, however even 69 spread over 24/7 seems a little skimpy.

    • John Poitras says:


      I would be happy to pay $10 a year and more for more police…

      So would the vast majority of the residents of Burien.

      Now that annexation has failed can we reallocate these funds to hiring more police?

    • Mike says:

      Your colleagues felt a federal grant for 2 police officers was better spent on something other than the communities safety? It’s very believable after seeing the rest of their shenanigans. Their inability to focus on anything other than annexation is very telling. I think they felt they had annexation in the bag, were going to get the extra officers off the backs of Area Y residents as well as the supposed $5mil/year. I’m extremely happy they aren’t going to be running area Y.
      Here’s a serious realistic alternative Mr. Block: fire mike Martin and use his salary ($131,256) to pay for at least one officer.

  5. Xanna Don't says:

    Thanks for all the thoughtful replies and welcomes. Much appreciated. Btw, the driver returned today just a few minutes ago, got some papers out of the ditched car, wiped it down with a towel, and left in another vehicle.

  6. Really? says:

    Was the ditch given a “field” sobriety test? Those scofflaw ditches are the worst.

    • Xanna Don't says:

      Actually, the ditch is where the sidewalk should be. The kids who get dropped off from their school bus on our street mostly cut through our parking lot because of it, but not all of them. If this happened an hour later, she could’ve hit one of them.

      Btw, a junk car buying guy stopped by today. I think I found the driver on Facebook and sent her his info. So maybe she’ll make some money back for her troubles and the neighborhood will finally get rid of our roadside attraction. It’s been four days…

  7. Xanna Don't says:

    Update: The OWNER of the car just came by to see his ditched vehicle. He reported it stolen two weeks ago. I have his email and I’m sending him all the photos I have. Why didn’t the police run the license plates? That driver should have been taken into custody immediately.

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