LETTER: Anti-Annexation Protestor Removed from White Center Jubilee Days


To the Editor –

Citizens in the White Center/Area Y annexation area were censored from hearing both sides of the annexation issue by the Committee Chairman of White Center Jubilee Days and the President of the North Highline Unincorporated Council (NHUAC for info see>>> http://b-townblog.com/2012/03/28/letter-nhuac-represents-views-of-very-very-few-people-who-live-in-area-y/).

On Saturday, July 21, 2012, the first day of White Center Jubilee Days, the festival chairman had a citizen “removed from the area” of White Center Jubilee Days for simply handing out a half-page flyer stating, “Vote No on Burien Annexation”.

The citizen was on public property, creating no public nuisance and simply handing out flyers sponsored by the “Independent White Center PAC“, a group of concerned local residents and business owners opposed to Burien annexation.

It is likely that the festival official was prompted by a NHUAC representative to have the citizen removed. The citizen was not breaking any laws or violating any King County ordinances according to the King County Sheriff’s Office. It also appears that based on all of the printed materials from the White Center Jubilee Days Committee, that the citizen was not violating any of the posted rules for people attending the festival.

The festival organizer told the citizen that he owned the street and for that reason, he insisted the police remove the citizen from “the area” which included removal from private property which the citizen had the owner’s permission to be on. While other people were handing out items on the street without having a booth, they were not removed from the festival. So the question is, when a public festival organizer gets a permit to close a street does he “own” the street or does he simply have the right to limit vehicular access to that street? Also at a public festival, does the organizer of the festival have the right to throw out peaceable citizens because he does not like their political views? Lastly, does the organizer of a public festival have the right to supplant the rights of private property and business owners because he is having a festival?

The “Yes on annexation” folks were present in numbers and handing out materials promoting annexation but apparently took great umbrage at this little flyer that contradicted their viewpoint.

Here are the simple words on the flyer which also had a festive candy stapled to each one for anyone that was interested in reading it.

Vote NO

on Burien Annexation:

  • No new property taxes
  • No new business taxes
  • No new utilities fees
  • No new ordinances or zoning changes

If you are a citizen of White Center/Area Y, I think it is important that you hear both points of view and not just one side of the issue.

At the last annexation outreach meeting a city representative refused to allow a citizen to ask a question that he did not want asked.
The city of Burien also failed to post notice to Burien & Area Y citizens that a public hearing on the annexation of Area Y was being held by the King County Council.

Last I checked, this is still the United States of America where anyone is supposed to be free to express their political viewpoints so voters can make an informed decision.

I think a fair question to ask is why are they afraid of a free and open dialogue on the issue of annexation?

Maybe because if people were fully informed there is a good chance that the majority of voters in area Y might decide leaving King County and incorporating into Burien is not such a good idea after all?

Best Regards,
John Poitras

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Comments

19 Responses to “LETTER: Anti-Annexation Protestor Removed from White Center Jubilee Days”
  1. Margaret Ryan says:

    John,

    I so appreciate this letter. I am one of the fair goers who applauded the efforts of the anti-annexation person, and took one of his flyers. It incenses me that he would be removed from the grounds. I am more anti-annexation than ever after hearing this.

    Margaret Ryan

  2. Margaret Ryan says:

    Dear John,

    I stand corrected. I believe that perhaps both of us were unaware that no one is allowed to distribute material on the fair grounds without submitting an application for booth space, and paying the price for a booth. The 2012 prices range from $50 to $500. Tina Holmes, Event Vendor Coordinator, said that :’the gentleman in question did not apply for a booth at Jubilee Days.” Hence, he was told to leave the grounds.

    I hope this clarification helps both of us to understand what really took place.

    Margaret Ryan

  3. Troy G. says:

    Margaret, Thank you for retracting your statement once you found out the truth. I will be anxious to see if John corrects his statement and apologizes to the fine folks at NHUAC for accusing them of doing anything wrong. This whole annexation issue is filled with people giving half truths and half facts and the comments John made are pure wrong. The person handing out flyers did not pay for a booth and therefore was not intitled to hand out literature, plain and simple.
    I’m sure some of the anti annexation people are now going to comment that I am a Mike Martin follower or some other BS as they say anytime someone disagrees with them.

  4. Justin says:

    I was there when he was asked to leave and this is exactly what he was told by the sheriff. Instead of being honest, he sends a crackpot letter out with information he knows is dishonest.

    Margaret you should attend public meetings in the future as a citizen instead of pretending to be a journalist and loudly disrupting meetings. Your current behavior makes this blog look entirely unprofessional.

  5. Fred says:

    To Margaret and Justin;

    I have checked online and written materials for the festival and there is no where any written rules about about handing out materials at this event. If there are these rules in the White Center Julibee booklet that was passed out to the public, please post the page that it was on. A number of the sponsors of the events and long time participants in the event said they knew nothing about this rule. This is not a citizen who would have applied for a vendor’s license because the citizen wasn’t selling anything. The citizen was handing out information. That is still legal in the U.S.A. on public streets to pass out information.
    Remember that thing called the Constitution and the 1st Amendment. Had the Citizen been handing out a flyer that said something like, “Vote to join Burien.”, I suspect the citizen might have been told just to stop but would not have been thrown out of the festival and would have been allowed to stay. Mike McGrath/Chair of the festival was foolish enough tp over react and claim that he owned a public street. He does not own the street because he has a permit to close it or have a festival. Then he went to far as to claim he had the right to throw the citizen off of private property that was not his property, too.
    If Justin is probably the same Justin that is part of the Jubilee Days Committee, I suggest that he tell the Committee to clear up its written rules to avoid a lawsuit instead of accusing the citizen of writing a crackpot letter, being dishonest or being drunk. This is just a cover up approach to avoid the real issue.
    Tina Holmes was not correct in saying the citizen was asked to leave the grounds the citizen was thrown off the grounds. She is trying to candy coat what really happened but it would have been much easier to explain the rule to the citizen, show the posted rule to the citizen and simply ask the citizen to stop. Sorry Tina Holmes, you can’t fix this one that easy. Someone still has egg on the face.
    Yes, this very much does sound like the way Mike Martin has handled situations especially after how he explained how he handled dogs in Kent. He looks to write ordinances for everything rather than working with citizens. Area Y/White Center neighbors,let’s ask a lot of questions and insist on a lot of answers before election day.

    • admin says:

      NOTE: This Comment has been revised by the Editor, with a name redacted.

    • Justin says:

      He was not thrown out. He was asked to leave if he was going to continue to hand out fliers. He was not the only one this happened to, and believe it or not it was not a big conspiracy. This is the same with any street fair.

  6. Margaret Ryan says:

    To Justin:

    I am not a reporter for this publication – I am a freelance writer, whose views do not necessarily reflect those of the editor. Hence, while I always try to present accurate information in my viewpoints, I am not bound by strict journalistic rules regarding neutrality. When I go to public meetings, I go as a private citizen, not as a representative of anyone else.

    • Justin says:

      I can tell you are not bound by any strict journalistic rules, or Strunk and Whites rules of grammar, or even spell check, but if you are going to announce at a meeting that you are a journalist for this blog, and then spend the rest of the meeting talking over other people, it looks unprofessional. Not nearly as unprofessional as quoting yourself in an article as “one citizen said…”. That is just just wrong on a lot of levels.

  7. Tina says:

    Margaret,
    When we met and introduced ourselves, we were neighbors who love our dogs and I was thinking a future friend to walk our dogs at the dog park. Because of our common bonds I think you came to me to voice your concerns about the Anti-annexation person and my vendor coordinator role. I “listened” to you & you listened to my response. Thank you, I have been alerted to the blog activity and that’s probably why you called me today. I am open to continueing our conversation. I called the number on my caller ID & it’s a fax, I’m having trouble finding the number I scrawled on the paper from the festival. I’m hanging out my sofa, feet raised trying to alleviate the effects of being old & broken and too many hours pulling together the weekend and not enough fluids or sleep. Please call back, if I don’t answer leave a number & you’ll hear from me. I look forward to a civilized conversation like our first, let’s step back -no matter the fence and discuss what we have in common and than why we think this or that is a benefit or threat to the community we share. Tina *Fred, Please tell me where you are holding informational meetings regarding Area Y and Vote No. As a 32 year resident I would like to go, I want to hear reasons it is a my detriment. I’ve heard plenty of spooky stories but I’d like some fact based information. I’ll address my reply to the rest of the issues later.*

  8. Fred says:

    To Justin-
    The citizen was thrown out and not given a choice.You seem to be very concerned about the accuracy of Margaret Ryan’s reporting but do not hold yourself to the same standard. You did not witness the entire incident that this Blog letter is about but persist in pretending that you know all of the details. Shame on you. It was a conspiracy against against the Constitution.

  9. Justin says:

    Yes Fred, it was. You found us out. This is all a plan of the illuminati. Fnord. Unless you are a sheriff, Mike, or John, you were not there Fred. I was, and I stand by what I said.

    I never claimed to be a journalist Fred, see that is the difference there.

  10. Snooping Around says:

    Seriously both sides shut up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I mean really, look if I paid for space I would not want someone getting what I get with my money for free period! With that said yes Mike told him to leave! They both needed to act more there ages and less hot under the collar or less empowered whatever you want to call it! Like it or not he paid and got permitted to have 17th and a festival so those rules should apply end of story. Now the other side, Mike I am walking just over here on the side block just outside from the permitted event area and I will continue from there to peacefully hand out my literature sorry to bother you have a good day. Was that really so hard to be fair or polite to one another? Now at this point if the officer or anyone else tried to make them stop they would have zero ground to stand on as long as they are not causing problems. This is America we have rights you have rights we all have rights but you all don’t have the right to act like uncivilized children, wake up we are all friends or friends of friends treat people how you wish to be treated we are adults now act like it! Seriously is it that big of a deal? Now go out be nice and make the world a better place one person at a time.

  11. Margaret Ryan says:

    Justin,

    while I never announced my connection to the white Center Blog at any public meeting (I don’t know where you got that idea), from now on, I am going to keep my opinions to myself and just listen. This is not because of you.

    Margaret

  12. 3TPDude says:

    I was at the car show part of Jubilee Days street fair when this all went down, and can tell you from where I was observing that the events as described is not what happenned. I gave a statement to the KC officer present, and am not sure what I can share, but the letter above is not what I witnessed.

  13. Fred says:

    To 3TPDude-
    You are right that what you saw was not what is described in this blog letter because the incident described did not happen at the car show part of Jubilee Days.

    To Justin-
    You did not witness this event because you have given the wrong details about the event and who was really present and involved. There is this chidren’s ditty, “Liar, liar, pants on fire….”
    This applies to some of the people who claim to have been witnesses to this event.

    • 3TPDude says:

      Wrong. I was right there at 17th and the WC Cutoff(Chase Bank corner since it sounds like you really aren’t familiar with the JD’s layout).
      They were told they could stand south of the street barriers but would have none of that.

  14. Justin says:

    Fred you really are about a taco short of a fiesta platter.

  15. Fred says:

    To Justin-
    1.The White Center Jubileee Days committee clearly had no written public rules for handing out flyers on a public street.
    2. A permit to use the street does not mean a group or a chairperson owns the street-as the chair of the committee claimed.
    3. Other people handed out things in the street and were not thrown out of the event.
    4.This was clearly a violation of 1st Amendment rights for this citizen and this group and was probably politically motivated.
    5. It was a mis-use of the King County sheriff’s deputy to enforce something that in no way was illegal.
    So to cover up the whole thing you make up tales about this citizen and then try to call me names in this blog because you can think of no other way to divert attention from the truth. This should never happen at one of your events again. Clean up your act.

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