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King County Councilmember Pete von Reichbauer
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Dear Friends:

Today’s update includes information on a recent visit to the Ukrainian Center in South King County, the Black River Pump Station Capital Plan Strategy, the latest State Revenue Forecast, the new King County Contact Tracing Dashboard, and more.

Washington Trivia

When was the incorporation of Renton?

(Answer is at the bottom).

Mask Donation to the Ukrainian Center

One of the big changes to South King County has been the growing Ukrainian population, as well as emigrants from former republics within the USSR. I want to thank Honorary Consul Valeriy Goloborodko for introducing me to Executive Director Oleg Pynda of the Ukrainian Center. I dropped off additional masks to Oleg and discussed counseling and recovery programs with him.

With Ukrainian Center Executive Director Oleg Pynda

Black River Pump Station: Then and Now

As the flood season approaches, I would like to take a moment and appreciate how the Black River floodplain has developed over the years, and how it has benefited from flood protection achieved by the Howard Hanson Dam, the Green River levee system, and the Black River Pump Station.

Last week, the King County Flood Control District Executive Board adopted the Black River Pump Station Capital Plan Strategy, which highlights upcoming improvements at the facility such as the replacement of high-use pump engines, large pump engines and control building, mechanical system upgrades, fish passage, and seismic and structural retrofits. These improvements will protect 2,800 acres in portions of Renton, Kent and Tukwila, 640 buildings, and the Federal Aviation Administration, King County Elections, Boeing, IKEA, Fred Meyer and Walmart.

Modern view of the historic Black River floodplain.

Looking north on Highway 167 toward Lake Washington with the Black River on the upper left, showing the flooding in the winter of 1964-65.

State Revenue Forecast

The Washington state revenue forecast that projected an $8.8 billion budget shortfall through 2023 has been cut in half to $4.2 billion, with $2.3 billion shortfall in the current two-year state operating budget and $1.9 billion shortfall for the 2021-23 budget cycle. This was due to higher than expected tax collections, help from federal stimulus dollars, higher than expected sales in auto and other retail trade sectors, and low mortgage rates resulting in higher than expected real estate excise tax collections. However, the Economic and Revenue Forecast Council emphasized there is still a lot of economic uncertainty due to the pandemic. The next revenue forecast will be in mid-November. To view the whole presentation, please click here.

King County Contact Tracing Dashboard

King County recently launched a new contact tracing data dashboard, which demonstrates why it is critical for people to isolate and get tested right away if they develop symptoms for COVID-19. Contact tracing is a tested and effective public health intervention tool designed to identify people who may have been exposed to an infectious disease, and help limit the spread of infection. Contact tracers call residents who have recently tested positive for COVID-19, as well as the people who were exposed to the virus. They call those contacts to arrange testing and ensure that they go into isolation or quarantine. For the full story, check out the recent contact tracing blog post.

Mental Health Day and Free COVID-19 Testing in Federal Way

On Saturday, September 26th, Public Health Seattle - King County (PHSKC), the city of Federal Way, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Seattle King County, Federal Way Black Collective, and Progress Pushers, are hosting a free Mental Health Day from 2:00 – 7:00 PM at the Federal Way Performing Arts and Event Center. Face covering and social distancing are strictly required. This is a resource for the Black Community in King County to access services in person or online, either for mental health counseling or other available services. Interested participants are welcome to come in person or sign up online for 30-minute sessions. To reserve a secure online zoom session email Sarah.Wilhelm@kingcounty.gov. For more information about the event, please click here.

King County Case Update

Today, Seattle – King County Public Health reported 126 new cases, bringing the total in King County to 21,803. In addition, Public Health reported 0 new death, keeping the total in the county at 758.

Stay In. Stay Healthy. Stay Strong.

Pete von Reichbauer
King County Councilmember

Washington trivia answer:

Located at the confluence of the Black and Cedar Rivers merging into the Duwamish River, with the Cedar River flowing from the southeast into Lake Washington and the Black River carrying runoff into the White River, Renton was home to the Duwamish tribe for centuries providing important resources, particularly salmon fishing.

According to HistoryLink, upon paddling up the Duwamish River and seeing the convergence of waters, Henry Tobin put on a claim in 1853. The running waters appeared to be a perfect location for a mill, while access to the lake provided potential for business opportunities. Settling next to Tobin, Dr. R.H. Bigelow discovered a coal seam on his property. They built a mill to provide timber for the mines, which resulted to the influx of settlers into the region affecting the way of life of the Duwamish tribe. In 1855, the tribe initiated a war resulting to the burning of the mill, driving away the settlers and ending with the resettlement of the tribe within the territory. Tobin passed away due to an illness, and Bigelow decided not to stay.

In 1857, Erasmus Smithers met Diana, Tobin’s widow who still owned the patent on her late husband’s claim. Smithers eventually married Diana and ended up owning nearly 500 acres of land. In 1875, the couple filed the first plat for the town of Renton, which was named after Captain William Renton, a local lumber and shipping merchant who had formed the Renton Coal Company. Renton was incorporated on September 6, 1901.

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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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