‘It’s Been Quiet Around Here Since Papa’s Closed’ – Jesse Lovell, Company Bar
“It’s been quiet around here since Papa’s closed.”
by Margaret Ryan
That’s what Company Bar owner Jesse Lovell has to say regarding gang activity in White Center.
Papa’s Pub was located just down the street from Company. A much different kind of bar, Papa’s appealed to a diverse group of drinkers, pool players, music lovers, drug addicts, and gang members. When a key bar employee and her boyfriend were arrested in October, 2011 for dealing cocaine and selling illegal firearms out of the bar, it took only four months for the County to shut the place down. Evidently, customers of Papa’s were also clients of the employee and her boyfriend. The employee had a long criminal record and is now classified as an habitual criminal.
Tuesday afternoon, May 8, a KOMO reporter and photographer were seen on 16th SW, between Company Bar and what used to be Papa’s. The reporter was interviewing a man-on-the-street named Reese Colbo, from Kent. Reese works in South Park and was finishing up some business in White Center. He and the reporter just happened to ‘bump into each other” and found that they had mutual interests: namely, the effort by King County Councilman, Reagan Dunn, to pass legislation identifying “Gang Free Zones” where known gang members, convicted of misdemeanors, could be banned from entering a Zone. A Gang Free Zone could be anything from an establishment to a public place, to a certain street or corner. If found within these zones, the gangster would be arrested.
Colbo supports Dunn’s measure and commends him for ‘taking a stand.’
It dawns on this reporter that, although there are 10,000 gang members in King County, KOMO chose White Center as a place to focus. Colbo himself told the reporter that “there’s gang activity everywhere.”
But we all know that the King County Sheriff has identified White Center as a ‘hot spot’ of gang activity, so that where the media attention goes.
For me, I’m just glad to hear Jesse Lovell’s comment that “things have been quieter around here since Papa’s closed.”