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King County Councilmember Pete von Reichbauer
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News from and about King County… from COVID-19 updates to community news affecting our daily lives.

Dear Friends:

Today’s e-news includes information on King County’s commemoration of Black History Month, surveys from King County Local Services and Metro, new Sounder reduced fares, road closure, health updates, and more.

Washington Trivia

A Civil War soldier who became the first African American political appointee in Washington state history - who was he?

(Answer is at the bottom).

King County Honors Black History Month

When I first met with then-councilmember Ron Sims as a new member of the council, we discussed our respective districts and committed to build upon what we had in common. Ron Sims knows how to create coalitions and construct bridges of communication and understanding that benefit the public.

Councilmembers Gossett and Zahilay are known as strong advocates for their constituents, focusing on the needs of young people through youth enrichment programs.

I have had the privilege to serve alongside these three members and appreciate their commitment to public and community service. As we celebrate Black History Month, King County is proud to honor our Black councilmembers, past and present.

King County Local Services asks residents and businesses in unincorporated areas for their priorities for the community

King County Local Services asks residents and businesses in unincorporated areas to share their ideas and priorities for the community by completing an online survey. These surveys will guide what will eventually become community needs lists, which will inform the development of the county’s budget and help the county prioritize projects in support of each community’s vision. Local Services will coordinate with other King County and partner agencies to develop actionable programs, services, or improvements that the county can deliver.

King County Metro seeks community input through route to recovery survey

King County Metro is making plans to gradually restore suspended service where needed most. In order to make the most informed service decisions for King County residents and Metro customers, Metro is seeking community feedback through a short survey on Metro’s route to recovery. Responses are due by 11:59 p.m. on March 8, 2021. Your valuable input will help transit planners identify and recommend priority service changes in September 2021 and beyond. Read more in the Metro Matters blogpost here.

Lower Sounder Fares take effect March 1st

Starting March 1st, ORCA LIFT, Youth and Regional Reduced Fare permit holders will be able to ride Sounder at a new, reduced fare. The new fares will simplify Sound Transit’s fares system-wide and make Sounder more accessible bringing Sounder fares in line with Link light rail and ST Express bus fares for these customer groups. There is no change to regular adult fares on Sounder. Visit Sound Transit’s fares and ORCA LIFT program for more information.

Closures on I-5 for Federal Way Link Construction

Crews working on the Federal Way Link Extension will be closing two lanes along southbound I-5 from South 288th Street to South 320th Street to set concrete barriers and build an access road for future light rail construction. The nighttime closures will take place from 9:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. from February 23rd through February 25th.

How to Avoid COVID-19 Scams

Federal government agencies and Washington state want you to know how to spot and avoid the wide range of COVID-19 scams currently circulating in the U.S.

Signs of potential COVID-19 vaccine scams from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI):

• You are asked to pay out of pocket to get the vaccine
• You are asked to pay to put your name on vaccine waiting list or to get early access
• Advertisements for vaccines through social media platforms, email, telephone calls, online, or from unsolicited/unknown sources
• Marketers offering to sell or ship doses of the vaccine for payment

Avoid Coronavirus Scams - Federal Trade Commission (FTC):

• A legitimate contact tracer will only ask for health information, not for money or personal financial information.
• Information about coronavirus stimulus checks will not be sent through texts, emails, or calls. Do not respond to them.
• Avoid offers for vaccinations and miracle treatments or cures. Scammers are selling products to treat or prevent COVID-19 without proof that they work.
• Be wary of ads for test kits as many advertised kits have not been approved by the FDA.
Hang up on robocalls. Scammers are using illegal robocalls to pitch everything including low-priced health insurance and work-at-home schemes.
• Do not trust emails claiming to be from the CDC or WHO and do not click on links from unknown sources.
• Be cautious about donations. Never donate in cash, by gift card, or by wiring money.

For more information on scams, visit the Washington State Coronavirus Response website here.

King County COVID Vaccination Update

As of yesterday, there were 302,895 first dose and 144,015 second dose vaccines administered among King County residents, bringing the total of all administered doses to 446,910. For more information, visit the King County COVID Vaccination Dashboard here.

The table shows the number of vaccine doses allocated to the state weekly since December 14, 2020, as well as the total doses from the state’s allocation that were given to King County and were administered as first doses.

Phase Finder: To assess your eligibility to receive COVID-19 vaccine, please visit the Washington Department of Health Phase Finder web form.

Register by phone: For assistance on registering by phone, call Washington state’s COVID-19 Assistance Hotline at 1-800-525-0127, then press # for help with registration by phone.

Other Vaccine Locations: Visit Washington Department of Health’s website for other vaccine locations in the state. If you have any questions, contact COVID.Vaccine@doh.wa.gov.

King County Case Update

Today, Seattle – King County Public Health reported 102 new cases, bringing the total in King County to 81,379. In addition, Public Health reported 12 new deaths, bringing the total in the county to 1,357.

Stay In. Stay Healthy. Stay Strong.

Pete von Reichbauer
King County Councilmember

Washington trivia answer:

John Newington Conna was a Civil War veteran who served in the 1st Louisiana Native Guards, an all-black Union Regiment during the Civil War. He fought in three major engagements: the siege at Port Hudson and battles at Milliken’s Bend and Tonica Bayou. After serving in the military, John moved to Hartford, Connecticut, where he married and had children. Their family moved to Kansas City, where he became the Captain of the “American Rifles” in the Missouri National Guard.

After the continental railroad reached the west coast, the Connas moved to Tacoma, Washington, and became the first African Americans to travel by train to Tacoma. The family settled on a 160-acre homestead on the south end of Panther Lake, near the present location of the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way.

Due to his political influence, John was selected Sergeant at Arms for the first Washington State Legislature in 1889 and was instrumental in the framing and passage of Washington’s first Public Accommodations law. Catching the “gold fever,” he later moved to Alaska at the age of 64 and died in Fairbanks at the age of 85.

Compiled by Cyndee Navarro of my office.

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Contact me: pete.vonreichbauer@kingcounty.gov
206-477-1007, 800-325-6165, TTY/TDD 206-296-1024
Website: www.kingcounty.gov/vonReichbauer
Facebook: www.facebook.com/pete.vonreichbauer

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