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

Dear Friends:

Today’s update includes information about our virtual “Good Eggs” community forum with WaFd President and CEO Brent Beardall, King County’s C-PACER Program, the King County Council’s recognition of the Black History Month, a recent meeting I had with Kent Mayor Dana Ralph, a request for public input about King County Metro’s service changes and strategic plan, updates on the long-term care tax, health updates and more.

Washington Trivia

This speedskater is the latest in a long line of Olympians to emerge from the Pattison’s West Skating Center in Federal Way, representing the country at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. Who is she?

(Answer is at the bottom).

Virtual “Good Eggs” Community Forum with Washington Federal Bank President and CEO

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to host Washington Federal Bank (WaFd) President and CEO Brent Beardall for our monthly virtual “Good Eggs” community forum. Brent discussed his perspective on the direction of the economy this year, locally and nationally, as well as the future of the banking industry. He touched on inflation, unemployment, home values, oil prices, and the impacts these things have on small businesses and individuals. You may watch a recorded version of the virtual forum on my Facebook page.

With WaFd President and CEO Brent Beardall

With Brent Beardall and South King County community leaders

From a peak of 1.55 million homes for sale in the US in 2016, 2021 saw active home listings drop to less than 500,000

King County’s C-PACER Program is now open for applications

King County makes it more affordable to invest in cleaner, sustainable, more resilient buildings with Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy + Resiliency (C-PACER) Program, a new loan program that allows commercial and multi-family buildings to secure low-cost financing from private lenders to make upgrades to their properties – including energy and water efficiency, energy storage, electric vehicle charging, seismic and resiliency upgrades, electrification improvements, and more. Read more here.

King County Council recognizes Black History Month

February is Black History Month and the King County Council recognizes the many sacrifices and contributions made by our African American community members in various fields, in our society and in King County.

Meeting with Kent Mayor Dana Ralph

Recently, I met with Kent Mayor Dana Ralph to discuss the rising crime in South King County that is causing concerns in the nearby communities. We cannot focus on public safety city by city; there must be a regional approach.

With Kent Mayor Dana Ralph at the Kent City Hall

King County Metro Updates:

King County Metro continues minor service reductions

King County Metro is extending their temporary reduced service schedule due to recovery and workforce availability challenges. While some individual trips will continue to be canceled, nearly all of Metro’s 160 bus routes will operate on weekdays and weekends. The exceptions during this recovery period are that routes 162, 177, 304, 320, and 330 will not operate on weekdays, and route 125 will not operate on Saturdays. For more information about transit alternatives for temporarily suspended routes, click here.

South King County RapidRide I Line online open house

King County Metro is working to connect Renton, Kent, Auburn and surrounding areas with frequent and reliable bus service to meet your mobility needs through the RapidRide I Line, which will upgrade the current Route 160 between Auburn Station and Renton. To help shape the design plans and learn more about how you can get involved, visit the RapidRide I Line’s Online Open House through February 20th or contact the RapidRide Community Engagement team at 206-263-9768 or rapidride@kingcounty.gov.

Metro launches Strategic Plan dashboard

King County Metro has launched its new Strategic Plan dashboard which shows the agency’s performance toward meeting the goals outlined in the 10-year Strategic Plan recently adopted by the Council. More information in the blog post here.

Long-term care tax delayed until 2023

Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill to delay the state’s new long-term care payroll tax to give the state more time to address solvency concerns and other issues raised about the first-of-its-kind program. The tax is now delayed until July 1, 2023. The delay comes after lawmakers “identified some areas that need adjustments.” The tax was originally set to start last month, but Gov. Inslee previously directed the Washington Employment Security Department (ESD) not to collect premiums from employers before they were due in April. Read more in the KING 5 News article here.

Non-Profit Corner

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).

Bloodworks Northwest
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 director_fwsc@hotmail.com.

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.

Save the Date: March 2nd South King County Public Health Town Hall

Please save the date for our upcoming South King County Public Health Town Hall on March 2nd, 5:30 – 6:30 PM, with Public Health – Seattle and King County Director Dennis Worsham. In this event, Director Worsham will provide an update on COVID-19, explore what the transition out of the pandemic might look like, and discuss the challenges we face before normal life resumes. More information will be provided soon.

Weekly King County Health Updates

King County hospitals issue urgent call to action: “We need your help”

In the midst of the omicron variant surge, King County hospitals and healthcare partners issued an urgent plea to the public to help reduce pressure on hospitals so they can provide essential care for those who need it. While there are promising signs with cases on the decline the past few days, hospitals are still under tremendous strain from increased hospitalizations, staff shortages and difficulty discharging patients who no longer need care. In the previous month, COVID-19 hospitalizations increased over 700 percent from 8 to 70 people hospitalized each day. Read more in the Public Health Insider blog here.

Free at-home COVID tests, masks now available at these 8 King County libraries

The King County Library System (KCLS) is distributing free COVID-19 home test kits and masks in the following libraries in King County: Burien, Enumclaw, Fairwood, Federal Way, Renton Highlands, Skyway, Southcenter and Woodmont. With limited supply, the KCLS recommends checking available inventory by calling the branch or checking their website.

Free N95 face masks are also now available at some pharmacies in Washington, with a limit of three masks per person through the program. The Washington State Department of Health said that a list of participating pharmacies is not yet available. However, according to the CDC, some partner pharmacies in Washington include, Albertsons Companies (including Safeway), Costco, CVS Pharmacy, Kroger Co. (including Fred Meyer and QFC), Rite Aid, Walgreens and Walmart.

National Fraternal Order of Police reports 346 Police Officers were shot in 2021

The National Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) reported that there have been 346 police officers shot and 63 officers killed by gunfire in 2021. 130 law enforcement officers were shot in 103 separate ambush-style attacks, which is up by 115% compared to 2020. As of midnight on Monday, January 31st, there have been 30 officers shot in the line of duty; of these officers, 5 of them were killed. Read more here.

King County COVID-19 Case Update

Today, Seattle – King County Public Health reported 1,487 new positive cases, bringing the total in King County to 350,699. In addition, Public Health reported 33 new deaths, bringing the total in the county to 2,392.

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 King County.

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:

From Apolo Ohno to J.R. Celski to Aaron Tran, the Puget Sound region has been known for short track speedskating athletes who take their talent not only locally, but all the way to the Olympics. Tomorrow, Corinne (Corie) Stoddard will represent Team USA at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing in the 500m, 1000m, 1500m and relay events.

Born in Seattle and raised in Tacoma, Corie honed her competitive skills at Pattison’s West Skating Center in Federal Way. Like Olympic medalists Ohno, Celski and Tran, she spent years competing in inline roller skating before starting on the ice. But unlike that trio, who switched to speedskating on ice, she decided to do both and also became a world-class inline skater — indoors and outdoors. She takes pride in being the first woman with Pattison’s West ties to make the Olympics. It was what she dreamed of when she left Washington in 2018 to join the national team in Utah, finishing her high school education online after attending Bonney Lake and Decatur (Federal Way) high schools.

After beating all expectations, Eunice Lee from Bellevue, who was eyeing the 2026 Olympics, will also join Team USA as the youngest member of the team since 1998 and will compete in a relay.

Corinne Stoddard and Eunice Lee compete in the women’s 1500-meter during the U.S. Olympic short track speedskating trials on Dec. 17, 2021, in Kearns, Utah. (Photo Source: Rick Bowmer, AP)

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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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