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LETTER: ‘A Response to Ralph Nichols’ Story on Annexation Vote’

LETTER: ‘A Response to Ralph Nichols’ Story on Annexation Vote’

This letter is in response to The B-Town Blog posting done by Ralph Nichols: “City of Burien puts North Highline Annexation on the Nov. Ballot” (read that post here). Mr. Nichols misses a few of the... [Read more]

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: ‘Kudos To Ralph Nichols For Another Great Article’

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: ‘Kudos To Ralph Nichols For Another Great Article’

Kudos to Ralph Nichols for another great article. This time reporting on the Governor’s proposal to cut annexation sales tax credit (read that story here). It provides all readers with an insight into... [Read more]

One Year Later, Investigation Continues Into Burien’s Fatal Apartment Arson Fire

One Year Later, Investigation Continues Into Burien’s Fatal Apartment Arson Fire

by Ralph Nichols

One year ago today, on June 29, 2008, not long after midnight, hell erupted in a very small place in Burien. At 12:42 a.m., a 911 dispatcher received the first alarm. Seconds later, someone inside the Tara Apartments, at SW 155th Street and 5th Ave SW, yelled “Fire!”

Goat Hill Residents Motivate City Into Action Over Speeding

Goat Hill Residents Motivate City Into Action Over Speeding


This map highlights the Goat Hill neighborhood where residents are upset about speeding cars.

by Ralph Nichols

Burien city officials recently decided on a combination of solutions designed to alleviate safety concerns of local residents by mitigating speeding through the Goat Hill neighborhood over the ridge west of Ambaum Boulevard at SW 130th Street.

Goat Hill residents have complained for over a year about motorists speeding along the corridor that, heading west, follows SW 130th as it curves into 16th Avenue SW to SW 131st Street, then goes to Shorewood Drive where it continues in a northwesterly direction through the subdivision.

Repeated complaints and requests for action from the neighborhood led to a meeting about the speeding problem…

King County Executive Candidates Speak At Burien Forum

King County Executive Candidates Speak At Burien Forum

by Ralph Nichols

Crime – including a high level of gang activity – is an ongoing concern in the Highline area, along with the rest of King County, especially at a time when multi-million-dollar budget deficits have forced staff reductions in the sheriff’s and prosecutor’s offices.

And not surprisingly, all five major candidates for King County executive told the King County Police Chief’s Association on Thursday that public safety is the primary responsibility of county government. They spoke at a forum at the Criminal Justice Training Center in Burien…

Happy Memorial Day: Thank You Ed Allen, & All Who Served

Happy Memorial Day: Thank You Ed Allen, & All Who Served

by Ralph Nichols

Today we honor America’s war dead – brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our country that we all might live free. We gratefully remember along with them those veterans who served with honor, returned home to live full lives, but now have passed on.

One who served with distinction then settled into civilian live, pursued a career with Boeing and raised a family, and later recalled his wartime experiences – and his courtship of Ethel, the English girl whom he would marry, in Pilot from the Prairie, was Burien’s and Des Moines’ Ed Allen (pictured above, at left with Writer Ralph Nichols)…

Aug. 18th Officially Certified As Annexation Vote Date

Aug. 18th Officially Certified As Annexation Vote Date

Photo of City Manager Mike Martin by Michael Brunk

by Ralph Nichols

It’s official. Several thousand North Highline residents now can mark Aug. 18th – primary election day – on their calendars as the date they will decide at last whether to be annexed by Burien.

City Manager Mike Martin said Friday (May 22nd) the 30-day period to appeal the King County Boundary Review Board’s prior approval of Burien’s plan to annex the south part of the North Highline unincorporated area expired May 18 with no challenge being filed…

BREAKING: Mike Martin Enters “Not Guilty” Plea To DUI

BREAKING: Mike Martin Enters “Not Guilty” Plea To DUI

by Ralph Nichols

Burien City Manager Mike Martin entered a plea of “Not Guilty” on Friday (May 15th) to a charge of driving under the influence of alcohol stemming from a minor traffic accident on April 19th. Martin appeared before King County District Court Judge Eileen Kato, who scheduled a pretrial hearing for June 23rd.

Martin, 55, refused to perform field sobriety tests or take a Breathalyzer test when he was arrested following the one-car accident in Burien. As a result, his driver’s license was suspended, as required by state law, when formal DUI charges were filed on May 6th.

On Monday (May 11th), the Burien City Council approved an amended contract for Martin on a 5-1 vote, which imposes strict “alcohol-related conditions” with which he must “comply fully” to retain his position as city manager.

In agreeing to the addition of alcohol-related conditions to his contract, Martin denied committing “any wrongful or criminal act,” but acknowledged “that the facts and circumstances of his arrest may constitute ‘cause’ to terminate his employment under the Original Agreement.”

PREVIOUS COVERAGE:

City Keeps Mike Martin On, Requires Amended Contract

City Keeps Mike Martin On, Requires Amended Contract

by Ralph Nichols

The Burien City Council imposed on Monday (May 11th) strict “alcohol-related conditions” with which City Manager Mike Martin must “comply fully” if he is to retain that position. Martin is scheduled to be arraigned in King County District Court Friday on a charge of driving under the influence of alcohol.

The conditions are included in an amendment to Martin’s contract (download and view PDF here), which was approved without discussion with a 6-1 vote by city lawmakers. Councilwoman Lucy Krakowiak, who publicly called for Martin’s ouster following his arrest for allegedly driving under the influence, cast the dissenting vote. She also cast the lone vote against Martin when the council hired him as city manager in January 2007.

Here’s a portion of the amended contract…

Former Blog Sales Manager Janet Grella has passed away; memorial March 10

Former Blog Sales Manager Janet Grella has passed away; memorial March 10

Janet Garrott Grella: October 2, 1949 – February 23, 2017 Janet and her husband Michael. On a scooter in Italy. We’re incredibly sad to report that Janet Garrott Grella – South King Media’s... [Read more]

Open House at new Burien Fire Station set for Saturday, July 16

Open House at new Burien Fire Station set for Saturday, July 16

Story by Ralph Nichols Photos by Scott Schaefer It was a long time coming, but with the Burien/Normandy Park headquarters fire station finally operational, local residents will soon get a close-up look... [Read more]

Open House at new Burien Fire Station set for July 16; Medic I unit coming soon

Open House at new Burien Fire Station set for July 16; Medic I unit coming soon

Story by Ralph Nichols Photos by Scott Schaefer It was a long time coming, but with the Burien/Normandy Park headquarters fire station finally operational, local residents will soon get a close-up look... [Read more]

Locked door causes 2 Councilmembers to leave meeting Monday night

Locked door causes 2 Councilmembers to leave meeting Monday night

by Jack Mayne A door that has been locked every night at 9 p.m. since 2009 caused two Burien City Council members to walk out of Monday night’s (April 20) meeting because citizens might not have... [Read more]

Next Highline Public Schools Construction Bond election will be in 2016

Next Highline Public Schools Construction Bond election will be in 2016

Story by Ralph Nichols Photos by Scott Schaefer Highline Public School officials anticipate placing a new construction bond issue on the ballot next year, superintendent Dr. Susan Enfield recently... [Read more]

Open House on Sea-Tac Airport expansion plan at SeaTac City Hall Tuesday

Open House on Sea-Tac Airport expansion plan at SeaTac City Hall Tuesday

Photo by Francis Zera | zeraphoto.com The presentation by Sea-Tac Airport staff will take place on Tuesday, March 24, at the SeaTac City Council meeting that begins at 6:30 p.m. in the SeaTac City Council... [Read more]

Next presentation on Sea-Tac Airport expansion plan set for Tuesday night

Next presentation on Sea-Tac Airport expansion plan set for Tuesday night

Photo by Francis Zera | zeraphoto.com The presentation by Sea-Tac Airport staff will take place on Tuesday, March 24, at the SeaTac City Council meeting that begins at 6:30 p.m. in the SeaTac City Council... [Read more]

New City Manager Kamuron Gurol is bullish on Burien’s future

New City Manager Kamuron Gurol is bullish on Burien’s future

Kamuron Gurol has been on the job as Burien’s new city manager for only four months, yet this has afforded him more than enough time to become bullish on the city’s future…

Violent crime in Burien declined in 2013

Violent crime in Burien declined in 2013

by Ralph Nichols Despite headlines from Seattle and some suburban cities, which render an illusion of violent crime rampant in King County, most serious crime in Burien declined in 2013. This topped the... [Read more]

Lawsuit against contractor now likely over needed repairs to new Fire Station

Lawsuit against contractor now likely over needed repairs to new Fire Station

Almost two years after its completion, Burien’s brand new Fire Station still sits empty due to construction problems. Photo by Scott Schaefer. Burien Fire Chief Mike Marrs. by Ralph Nichols The clock... [Read more]

Highline Mayors update Chamber members on local economic rebound

Highline Mayors update Chamber members on local economic rebound

Story by Ralph Nichols Photos by Scott Schaefer Highline cities have weathered the recession and now their economic futures look bright, mayors of four area cities told members of the Southwest King County... [Read more]

Burien Council approves $450,000 to complete Seahurst Park Restoration

Burien Council approves $450,000 to complete Seahurst Park Restoration

by Ralph Nichols Burien City Council members unanimously approved at their March 17 meeting an additional $450,000 to fund completion of phase two of the Seahurst Park Shoreline Ecosystem Restoration Project. Only... [Read more]

Burien Council hears, sees plans for two new Town Square developments

Burien Council hears, sees plans for two new Town Square developments

Almost five years after the first privately developed Burien Town Square project – the seven-story condominium-retail complex at SW 152nd St. and 6th Ave. SW – was completed, plans for Phase Two are finally moving forward…

City Council will consider Burien Marijuana regulations Monday

City Council will consider Burien Marijuana regulations Monday

Burien council members will have before them for possible action at their Feb. 3 meeting three draft ordinances for regulating legal marijuana businesses in the city…

Burien Council to review new Economic Development Strategic Plan in March

Burien Council to review new Economic Development Strategic Plan in March

Burien business leaders – including members of the Business and Economic Development Partnership – will soon get what they have wished for…