Photos by Kurt Howard, Jerry Gay and Steve Shay
Heading back up 53rd Avenue South from Klickitat Drive in Tukwila the "Watch For Ice" message was obvious to drivers and pedestrians during the January snow and ice storm. By Kurt Howard CLICK THE IMAGE OR SCROLL DOWN TO VIEW MORE PHOTOGRAPHS

SLIDESHOW: Boundaries stayed put in 2012

North Highline did not annex into Burien. Normandy Park did not disband.

Seattle’s interim schools superintendent moved south to become Highline’s head honcho.

Controversies continued between citizens and city staffers…and between lawmakers and their colleagues.

Here’s a month-by-month look back at what made Highline news this year as ripped from the front pages of the Highline Times/Des Moines News/SeaTac News:

January
The Des Moines Marina lease went up by nearly $100,000 per year, starting Jan. 1.

Veteran council members were replaced as mayors in Burien, Des Moines and SeaTac as lawmakers selected Brian Bennett, Dave Kaplan and Tony Anderson.

The state Boundary Review Board heard more than six hours of testimony over two days on Burien’s proposal to annex North Highline. The board later approved Burien request, paving the way for North Highline voters to decide on the measure.

Snow, followed by an ice storm, locked down Highline glazing houses, trees, automobiles and roads.

Tukwila’s Museum of Flight was officially given the ‘keys” to the space shuttle’s full fuselage trainer during a ceremony at the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston.

February
The King County Library System, the city of Burien and Burien police vowed to curb rowdy behavior by teens at the Burien Library. Cameras were later installed in the library’s lobby and outside on the building.

New Start High science teacher Beverly Mowrer received the Stanley O. McNaughton Award as part of KCTS TV’s Golden Apple Awards. The McNaughton award honors one educator or program in the state whose commitment inspires academic or vocational success.

Burien lawmakers decided to pull red light cameras from three intersections after district court and police costs were determined to be more than the revenue being brought in.

Dr. Susan Enfield, Seattle’s interim superintendent, was hired as Highline’s new school chief. Enfield had indicated she did not want to become the permanent superintendent in Washington’s largest district. She was also courted by Bellevue.

Highline Medical Center staffers sized up potential partners after the hospital suffered $16 million in losses in 2011.

March
In an interview with the Highline Times in her Seattle office, new Highline schools superintendent Susan Enfield said that after working with around 100 principals in the state’s largest district, she was excited about what could be accomplished working with about a third of that many in Highline.

The new Sylvester Bridge opened four months behind schedule. Transportation officials blamed bad weather.

Unlike Burien, SeaTac decided to stick with its red light cameras by agreeing to a two-year contract extension with Redflex Traffic Systems.
Burien City Manager Mike Martin proposed a six-year “Kids and Cops” initiative that would include a surge of funding for police officers and city elementary schools.

April
Rick Kieffer retired as Normandy Park police chief after 17 years as the top cop and 33 years on the force.

The Burien City Council voted 4-3 to place the North Highline annexation on the Nov. 6 general election ballot.

Des Moines council members decriminalized possession and discharge of small amounts of personal fireworks while SeaTac lawmakers approved a $10,000 donation for the annual July 4 fireworks display put on by Angle Lake homeowners.

Augustina Droze was selected to paint a large mural on the Burien Dollar Store wall along 4th Avenue Southwest.

Sea-Tac workers and their supporters marched down International Boulevard to protest low wages at the airport.

May
Jennifer Ramirez Robson, former policy analyst for the city of Burien, was hired as executive director of New Futures. The non-profit operates community-learning centers at four low-income apartment complexes in Highline.

Sea-Tac Airport’s consolidated rental car facility opened. Twelve rental car companies share the building.

Sixteen scholar-athletes received scholarships at Highline schools’ first community recognition banquet. Coaches and community volunteers were also honored at the event organized by district athletic director Terri McMahan.

June
Burien lawmakers decided to repurchase three undeveloped Burien Town Square parcels from the developer.

Burien’s plan to pump up to $400,000 into some city elementary schools as part of a “Cops and Kids” initiative was roasted at a Highline School Board meeting by three influential school leaders. Later in the month, Burien lawmakers dropped the proposal.

Sherrill Miller, former owner of Burien’s E.B. Foote Winery, was named Highline Community College’s 2012 Distinguished Alumni winner.

In an emotional commencement ceremony, the state’s top teacher, Beverly Mowrer said goodbye to her New Start High students and the district.

The NASA space shuttle full fuselage trainer donated to Tukwila’s Museum of Flight arrived in the belly of the Super Guppy, a cargo plane that appears to be nine months pregnant.

July
Susan Enfield officially took over as Highline’s new schools superintendent.

Highline Medical Center in Burien and the Tacoma-based Franciscan Health System announced they are exploring an affiliation.

The Highline School Board approved a $194 million operating budget. Unlike past years, there were no significant program or staff cuts but also no restoration of $18 million in previous cuts.

Because of economic challenges, New Futures was forced to close its largest program at The Heights of Burien apartment complex.

Responding to Seattle media and blog reports of Normandy Park’s imminent demise, officials said the city’s fiscal diagnosis was serious but not fatal. One possible short-term solution for a $1.2 million shortfall would be passage of a levy lid lift in the Nov. 6 election, they said.

Proponents and opponents of North Highline annexation sparred over whether Burien would receive the $5 million a year state sales tax credit promised if the city the unincorporated area.

CARES, Burien’s controversial animal control provider, officially opened its new shelter.

The King County Council approved the alignment and stations for a RapidRide route between Burien, Tukwila, SeaTac and Renton. It will begin in the fall of 2013.

August
Des Moines and Federal Way voters approved a resubmitted South King Fire & Rescue maintenance and operations levy at the Aug. 7 primary election. The levy, which needed a 60 percent yes vote for approval, received 59.32 percent approval in a previous election.

California-based Hanbleceya stirred up controversy in Normandy Park by buying or renting five homes in the city for individuals with mental illness and drug addiction issues. Hanbleceya officials said there were no plans to expand to other Highline cities.

In a tie vote, the Burien City Council rejected a motion by Councilmember Jack Block Jr. to take the annexation vote off the November ballot.

The SeaTac City Council honored city police officers involved in the Genesis Project, a 24-hour drop-in center for young females involved in sex trafficking.

Bowing to what they deemed economic reality, Burien lawmakers approved a standstill agreement with the Town Square developers that most likely will lead to apartments in the undeveloped parcels. The agreement put on hold Burien’s decision to buy back the empty parcels.

Two-thirds of Burien residents think the city is heading in the right direction, according to results of a community assessment survey.
Plans were unveiled for an off-leash dog park in Burien.

September
Ground was broken for a unique 19-until Alzheimer’s facility at Normandy Park Senior Living Community.

Global Connections High School Wind Ensemble was invited to play in the Presidential Inauguration Music Festival in Washington D.C. in January.
A compromise shoreline plan put together by an ad hoc committee was presented to the Burien City Council. Committee members believe the changes to the city’s Shoreline Master Plan will likely be approved by the state Department of Ecology.

Normandy Park City Manager Doug Schulze and Burien Community Development director Scott Greenberg announced they had accepted job offers in other cities.

Normandy Park City Manager Doug Schulze warned the city may go out of business if voters did not approve the levy lid lift in November.

October
King County officials painted a dire picture of decreased services to North Highline if annexation to Burien is not approved. The warnings came at a North Highline Unincorporated Area Council forum.

Cameras were in abundance at the beginning of a Burien City Council meeting when a group calling itself “Dreaming of a better Burien” sang a reimagined version of “Imagine,” complete with choreography.

Navos Mental Health Solutions celebrated the grand opening of its 52,450 square-foot campus in Burien.

November
North Highline voters overwhelmingly rejected annexation into Burien at the Nov. 6 election. About 66 percent voted against the proposal.

Normandy Park voters approved on Nov. 6 a levy lid lift that raised the city’s property tax rate to $1.61 per $1,000 of assessed value.

Des Moines was dealt an economic blow when Puget Sound Energy backed out of a plan to move to the Des Moines Creek Business Park near Sea-Tac Airport.

The White Center and Boulevard Park libraries were apparently saved when library system staffers proposed moving the White Center Library north into the unincorporated area. Some Burien officials argued it should be moved further south or be rebuilt on its current site, which is a block inside Burien’s city limits.

Burien lawmakers approved a budget that dips into reserves to keep it balanced.

Reserves in all funds will dip from a beginning balance of $50.9 million to $35.3 million in the budget passed by the SeaTac City Council.

Burien Deputy Mayor Rose Clark abruptly recessed a city council meeting after three lawmakers usually in the minority began pushing through legislation by taking advantage of the absence of two majority council members.

New Highline schools Superintendent Susan Enfield proposed big goals in her first “State of the Schools” presentation.

December
Des Moines council members approved a balanced budget heavy on one-time funds.

Just two days before the Connecticut elementary school shootings, the Highline School Board heard pleas from its security officers to allow them to keep carrying firearms. The district is reviewing its security plan.

Hopes were raised that the Des Moines Theater would not be sold again after city officials and developers met to resolve differences.
The Marine Science Technology (MaST) Center in Redondo was damaged during a storm.

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