News from and about King County… from health updates to community news affecting our daily lives.
Today’s update includes information about remembering Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., our upcoming virtual “Good Eggs” community forum, Citizens’ Elections Oversight Committee’s open positions, 4Culture’s Recovery Fund for Individuals grant, a bill that aims to renew Washington's recycling system and reduce waste, Federal Way’s new council president, new deadline for the 2021 tax return, a virtual public meeting for the South County Recycling and Transfer station, where to get free COVID-19 home test kits, health updates, and more.
This University of Washington alum is a renowned glass artist whose work has been included in more than 200 museum collections worldwide. Who is he?
(Answer is at the bottom).
Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Whether at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta with the Rev. Beatrice King (who was 5 years old when her father was assassinated) or at the MLK Memorial in Washington DC, I am often reminded of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s words: Only in the darkness can you see the stars!
“Where is the economy going?” - Virtual “Good Eggs” Community Forum with Washington Federal Bank President and CEO
Next month, I will be hosting Washington Federal Bank (WaFd) President and CEO Brent Beardall for a virtual “Good Eggs” community forum on February 2nd, Wednesday, from 7:30 am to 8:30 am. Topics of discussion will include Brent’s perspective on the direction of the economy this year, locally and nationally, as well as the future of the banking industry. If you are interested in watching the virtual forum, you can follow along live on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/petevonreichbauer.
With WaFd President and CEO Brent Beardall at our September 2020 virtual “Good Eggs” community forum
Citizens’ Elections Oversight Committee looks to fill two open positions
The Citizens’ Elections Oversight Committee (CEOC) is looking to fill two open positions for nomination and appointment: one representative from an academic institution who has knowledge of elections (initial one-year term and nomination must be supported in writing by an academic institution) and one representative who has experience in technology (three-year term). The application period for priority review will close on February 11th. For more information, please visit www.kingcounty.gov/ceoc.
4Culture’s Recovery Fund for Individuals grant
4Culture’s Recovery Fund for Individuals grant will offer between $1,000 and $12,000 to eligible cultural producers who have been financially impacted by the pandemic, as they recuperate, adapt, and advance their practice. The deadline to submit applications is on February 2nd at 5 pm. For more information, visit www.4culture.org/grants/recovery-individuals/.
Renewing Washington's recycling system and reducing waste
On Tuesday, January 18th, a hearing on Senate Bill 5697 was conducted. This bill on renewing Washington’s recycling system and reducing waste was introduced to modernize the state’s recycling system and to create an extended producer responsibility (EPR) system for consumer packaging and paper products (PPP). The bill would also create a coordinated, transparent statewide system for residential recycling that is funded by the producers of PPP; residents would no longer have to pay for recycling and local governments could seek reimbursement for their recycling services.
Deadline for 2021 Tax Return
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced that this year’s tax filing season will begin on January 24th, 17 days earlier than last year’s, but the deadline for filing taxes will be on April 18th, three days later than the normal deadline because of a D.C. holiday. Read IRS’ press release here.
Virtual public meeting on the South County Recycling & Transfer Station
King County Solid Waste Division will be holding a virtual public meeting for the community to learn more about design features and services, ask questions, and share feedback about the modern facility that will replace the aging, limited-service Algona Transfer Station. The new station will be located at 35101 W Valley Highway S, just north of the existing Algona Transfer Station. Register to attend the virtual public meeting on Thursday, January 27th from 5 to 7 pm to learn more about updates to services to be included in your new transfer station, opening in 2026.
Below are a couple places where your donations go a long way:
Auburn Food Bank
930 18th Pl NE, Auburn, WA 98002
Donations accepted in person Monday-Friday (8:00 am to 3:00 pm)
Auburn Valley Humane Society
4910 A St. SE, Auburn, WA 98092
1123 E Main St., Auburn, WA 98002 (Thrift Store)
To donate supplies, call 253-545-0314 Monday-Saturday (10:00 am – 6:00 pm), Sunday (11:00 am – 5:00 pm).
1414 S 324th St., Suite B101, Federal Way, WA 98003
Whole blood and apheresis donations are accepted Monday-Tuesday (10:00 am to 6:00 pm), Wednesday, Friday-Saturday (8:00 am to 4:00 pm), and Sunday (9:00 am to 5:00 pm). To schedule a donation appointment, call 253-945-8660 or 800-398-7888 or visit https://schedule.bloodworksnw.org/DonorPortal/.
Bridging a Gap (BAG)
33313 1st Way S, Federal Way, WA 98003
Food donations can be dropped off at the following locations:
St. Luke’s Church - 515 S 312th St., Federal Way, WA 98003
Communities in Schools - 1825 S 316th St., Federal Way, WA 98003
Red Canoe Credit Union - 33616 Pacific Hwy S, Federal Way, WA 98003
Federal Way Senior Center
4016 S 352nd St., Auburn, WA 98001
To volunteer, please call 253-838-3604 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
FUSION Décor Boutique
1108 S 322nd Pl, Federal Way, WA 98003
Donations are accepted Tuesday-Saturday (10:00 am to 6:00 pm)
Please call beforehand at 253-839-4045 with a description of the items.
Multi-Service Center Food Bank
1200 S 336th St., Federal Way, WA 98003
Donations may be dropped off at the warehouse Monday-Friday (8:30 am to 4:00 pm)
The Salvation Army
26419 16th Ave S, Des Moines, WA 98198
Open Monday-Thursday (9:00 am to 4:30 pm) and Friday (9:00 am to 12:00 pm)
In talking with Debbie Christian of the Auburn Food Bank and others, our local food banks need our help to keep their cupboards full. Please consider a donation of money or food so they can continue this valuable work.
Weekly King County Health Updates
Finding high quality masks amid the Omicron surge
As we see a dramatic rise in COVID-19 cases due to the Omicron variant and while vaccines are doing their job of preventing severe illness, Public Health – Seattle & King County reminds us that well-fitting and high-quality face masks are more important than ever. To view some guidelines on which masks are most effective and to find information on how to avoid counterfeit masks, read this Public Health Insider blog.
Free COVID-19 home test kits
On Tuesday, January 18th, the federal government’s website for ordering free COVID-19 home test kits went live ahead of the Wednesday schedule. Anyone can order 4 free at-home COVID-19 test kits which will usually ship in 7-12 days via USPS. For more information and to place an order, visit https://www.covidtests.gov/.
In King County, a limited number of tests are available at libraries in Burien, Enumclaw, Fairwood, Federal Way, Renton Highlands, Skyway, Southcenter and Woodmont. Residents are encouraged to call the library prior to visiting to check if tests are still available. For more information, click here.
Federal guidelines released last week now require private insurance companies to cover up to eight home COVID-19 tests per month, purchased on or after January 15th, 2022. Under the new policy, Americans will be able to either purchase home test kits for free under their insurance, or submit receipts for the tests for reimbursement, up to the monthly per-person limit. For more information, read this USA Today article here.
New Federal Way City Council President
Last week, I had the opportunity to congratulate Linda Kochmar for being elected as the Federal Way City Council President. I previously had the privilege of working with Linda in her role as a state representative and when she was the part-time mayor of Federal Way. In the coming weeks, I will be meeting with local government colleagues throughout District 7 to discuss the challenges and opportunities we see in 2022.
With Federal Way City Council President Linda Kochmar
King County COVID-19 Case Update
Today, Seattle – King County Public Health reported 5,537 new positive cases, bringing the total in King County to 298,788. In addition, Public Health reported 5 new deaths, bringing the total in the county to 2,273.
Recent data may be incomplete. For more information, visit the King County COVID Daily Summary Dashboard here.
Vaccine Locator: To find COVID-19 vaccine appointments, visit Vaccine Locator.
For King County residents: Register here to schedule your appointment at one of the high-volume vaccination sites in Auburn and Kent.
For in-home vaccination: Call King County COVID-19 Call Center at 206-477-3977.
Register by phone: Call King County COVID-19 Call Center at 206-477-3977 or Washington COVID-19 Assistance Hotline at 1-800-525-0127, then press #.
For veterans: Call 206-716-5716 or visit www.va.gov/health-care/covid-19-vaccine.
For more information, visit Getting vaccinated in King County.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255 or Text TALK to 741-741
Find your King County Council district here.
With best wishes,
Pete von Reichbauer
King County Councilmember
Washington trivia answer:
Dale Patrick Chihuly is an American glass artist and entrepreneur who is best known in the field of blown glass. After graduating from Woodrow Wilson High School, Dale had no interest in continuing his formal education, but at his mother’s urging, he enrolled at the University of Puget Sound and later transferred to the University of Washington to study interior design.
As a kid, he was always interested in glass, but was only able to make his first artistic use of it when he had to take a weaving class at the UW, weaving small pieces of glass into tapestries. In 1964, he received an award for his work from the Seattle Weavers Guild and the following year, he graduated from the UW with a Bachelor of Arts degree in interior design.
His career in glassblowing began one night when he melted some glass in a little oven and blew a bubble. Interestingly, he’d had a poster on the wall of a glassblower with his cheeks puffed up, so he gave it a try and decided that he wanted to be a glassblower. With this realization, he raised money for graduate school by working as a commercial fisherman in Alaska for six months, eventually earning his Masters in Sculpture and Fine Arts, and a Fulbright Scholarship that allowed him to work at the Venini glass factory in the island of Murano where he observed the team approach to blowing glass.
Dale’s collections have travelled internationally and locally, and one of his permanent collections can be seen at the Chihuly Garden and Glass at Seattle Center.
Chihuly, Paul DeSomma, and Richard Royal, Pilchuck Glass School, Stanwood, Washington, c. 1986 (Photo Source: https://www.chihuly.com)
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