Dick's may be saved by light rail change

By Giordan Gallacci - Staff Reporter

The threat to wipe out Lowe's Hardware and Dick's Drive-In across Pacific Highway South from Highline College has been temporarily derailed.

Sound Transit has targeted the two businesses as the preferred site for its new South King County Light Rail maintenance and operations yard, but a subcommittee last week recommended the site be pulled from consideration.

King County Councilman Dave Upthegrove, a Sound Transit board member, and the four other members of the System Expansion Committee voted unanimously to recommend that the Lowe's/ Dick's site be pulled from consideration when the full board takes up the matter May 23.

The prospect of tearing down the new Dick's Drive-In has been particularly controversial. The iconic Seattle area eatery opened last December after a major social media campaign to convince the parent company to open a restaurant in Kent. It has already established itself as a community hotspot, popular with Highline students and is seen as a jobs-pro- ducer in the area.

"The Dick's Drive-In site doesn't make sense for the new operations and maintenance facility with other options still open. It would have also forced a low-in- come mobile home community to move," Upthegrove said.

Part of the problem is that the site is too close to the proposed Kent-Des Moines light rail station that will be across the highway from Highline College, near the college's new dormitory.

The Sound Transit Board is in somewhat of a bind, though. It needs 30 acres of land to build the maintenance and operations facility to accommodate 140 light rail cars. It is estimated to employ 300 people in well-paying jobs

The location was originally the prime option and if the full board agrees with its subcommittee the board will be looking at other options. Those options include a site occupied by the Midway Landfill just south of Dicks, at South 336th Street and I-5 that is part of Federal Way's Christian Faith Center, and at South 344th Street and I-5, which would also impact the Christian Faith Center.

If the landfill is chosen, there would need to be a massive cleanup of the Superfund site. If one of the other sites is chosen, the Christian Faith Center will be forced to move.

The Christian Faith Center sites would require approximately $750 million for construction, while the landfill site would require upwards of $1.4 billion.

The subcommittee's nomination will go to the full Sound Tran- sit Board on May 23 for the final decision.

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Student Election continues

Voting for either candidate in the upcoming election can occur online between midnight on May 15 until 11:59 p.m. on May 16. You can vote at elections. highline.edu. You can also vote in person as well. Polling booths will be set up at the library entrance, Building 6 entry plaza, and at the Student Union in Building 8 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Election results will be post- ed on Friday at noon in Center for Leadership and Service.

Prepare for graduation

Graduating students are en- couraged to attend Grad Fair where they can accomplish many of the tasks needed to prepare for Commencement. At the Grad Fair, students can purchase commencement regalia, pick up cap & gown orders from online orders, join the Alumni Association, check in for Commencement, visit a cap decorating station, buy a class ring, get professional graduation photos taken, and celebrate with fellow graduating classmates. You can join the celebration at Building 8, 1st floor, Mt. Constance/Olympus on May 21 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Memorial Day Celebration

To celebrate Memorial Day, Veterans Services has arranged for the American Veterans bugler to play as a wreath is laid at the Veterans Memorial Plaza. Following the honor, Lourdes E. 'Alfie' Alvarado-Ramos, cur- rent president of the National Association of State Directors of Veterans Affairs will give a speech inside Building 2. Hamburgers and hot dogs will be provided to everyone that attends. This event will take place in the Veterans Memorial Plaza & Building 2 on May 23 from 10 a.m. to noon.

Spring College Transfer Fair

If you are planning to transfer to a 4 year college or university in the future, be sure to attend this free college fair. Located in Building 8 first floor, come visit with admissions representatives from approximately 30 4 year colleges and universities. The fair is the perfect place to explore colleges and new options. Learn about the transfer process and deadlines, admissions requirements, scholarships, majors offered and more. This event will take place on May 28 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. can now do so. Running start and international students not eligible.

Drop-In Refugee Simulation Event

Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) will facilitate a simulation event called "Passages." Passages is an educational tool designed by the United Nations organization to create a better understanding of the problems that refugees encounter during their plight. The simulation takes about 15 minutes to complete. This will take place on May 15 from noon till 2 p.m. in Building 29,room116.