News from and about King County… from health updates to community news affecting our daily lives.
Today’s update includes news about the vandalization and burglary of the Khalsa Gurmat Center in Federal Way, how King County is preparing to welcome Afghan refugees, my recent tour of Orion Industries, Sound Transit Fall service changes, National Voter Registration Day, an Auburn Police detective who donated a kidney to a fellow detective in need, and more.
This Federal Way native spent five years as a goalkeeper with the United States women’s national soccer team, winning the World Cup in 1991. Who is she?
(Answer is at the bottom).
Khalsa Gurmat Center Vandalized and Robbed
This past weekend, I met with Khalsa Gurmat Center teacher Hardeep S. Rekhi to talk about the recent vandalism and burglary at their Sikh temple in Federal Way. It is disheartening to see the desecration that occurred as well as the damage to their property and loss of electronic items. An attack on one house of worship - whether it’s a temple, synagogue, mosque or church - is an attack on all houses of worship.
If you have any information or tips regarding this crime, please contact the Federal Way Police Department at (253) 835-2121.
With Khalsa Gurmat Center teacher Hardeep S. Rekhi
King County prepares to welcome Afghan refugees with temporary housing and community investments
As part of its efforts to welcome Afghan refugees, King County is investing $500,000 and collaborating with community partners to provide language support, community grants, and temporary housing at the recently purchased Extended Stay America in Federal Way. The County purchased this hotel in July to house people experiencing chronic homelessness in South King County, but it will be repurposed in the short-term for arriving Afghan refugees. Read more here.
Orion Industries Tour
On Monday, I toured Orion Industries in Auburn with Mayor Nancy Backus, the Auburn City Council, and Orion President & CEO Jerry Chase. I visited Orion to check in on the progress they've made, and to support them as a regional leader in job creation for people facing barriers to employment. Orion leverages their aerospace manufacturing business to create paths to employment through building self-esteem, mentoring, training, education, and community services. Their mission changes lives, families, and the communities they're based in.
Touring Orion Industries with President & CEO Jerry Chase and Auburn Mayor Nancy Backus
Outside of Orion Industries headquarters with Auburn City Councilmember Chris Stearns, Councilmember Bob Baggett, Auburn Mayor Nancy Backus, and Orion Industries President & CEO Jerry Chase
Sound Transit Fall service changes have started
On Monday, September 20th, Sound Transit began implementing service changes to the Sounder S line (1507/1520) and ST Express routes (566/577/578) operated by Pierce Transit. On Saturday, October 2nd, the Link 1 Line from Northgate to Angle Lake will begin service, adding three new stations in North Seattle including Northgate, Roosevelt, and U District. For more information on all current and future Sound Transit service changes, click here.
National Voter Registration Day
National Voter Registration Day is September 28th. Schools, parks, transit, the environment, the criminal justice system, how our tax dollars are spent, and so much more are decided at the local level and in local elections. If you are not currently registered to vote, or need to update your voter information, it takes just a few minutes to do so online at www.VoteWa.gov.
Auburn police detective donates kidney to fellow detective in need
Auburn Police Department detectives Damon Hewing and Jon Postawa now share a bond much more special than co-workers. Last year, Damon learned that he would need a kidney transplant and got connected with DOVE Transplant, an organization that shares stories of veterans needing a kidney transplant and connects them with potential living donors. Unbeknownst to Damon, Jon contacted DOVE Transplant, underwent rounds of testing, and found out he was a match for Damon. After successful surgery for both, they are now back at work as detectives for the Auburn police department. You can find coverage of this inspiring story from KING5 here.
Weekly King County Health Updates
King County health order requires full vaccination or a negative test for specific outdoor and indoor activities
King County is experiencing high levels of Delta variant cases and hospitalizations, increasing deaths, and a stressed regional health care system. With the potential for fall and winter resurgences, leaders in the county, community, health care, small business, and arts and culture sectors have joined in support of vaccine verification or testing.
Public Health – Seattle & King County (PHSKC) has issued a local health order requiring all people aged 12 years and older to verify full vaccination or provide documentation of a negative FDA-approved test prior to entry to specific indoor and outdoor activities. Medical and religious vaccine exemptions will not be accepted. The order will go into effect on October 25, 2021 and is not expected to be permanent – it will be reviewed no later than 6 months afterward. The order will apply to outdoor events with 500 people or more and indoor establishments and events including gyms and indoor dining, professional and college sporting events, performing arts and live music, and restaurants and bars. Read here for important details.
Easy ways to prevent food waste
The average American family throws away as much as 25% of the food they buy. Wasted food impacts the money available to spend on other things, increases food costs, and taxes resources like the water, land, and energy used to produce, package and transport food. Fruits and vegetables are the most wasted foods, but some simple tips can make these foods last longer. For example, one rotten grape can spoil the whole bunch and many types of produce give off a gas that spoils others – onions give off a Sulphur gas that spoils potatoes.
Seattle Public Utilities has a great fruit and vegetable storage guide. Additionally, 1 in 6 people in the U.S. lack a secure supply of food and pandemic has made it worse. The Washington State Department of Health offers ways we can support our neighbors in need through food donation from home and share pantries.
King County COVID-19 Case Update
Today, Seattle – King County Public Health reported 453 new positive cases, bringing the total in King County to 147,289. In addition, Public Health reported 9 new deaths, bringing the total in the county to 1,849.
Recent data may be incomplete. For more information, visit the King County 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
Stay Healthy. Stay Strong.
Pete von Reichbauer
King County Councilmember
Washington trivia answer:
Amy (Allmann) Griffin grew up in Federal Way and graduated from Decatur High School. She went on to attend the University of Central Florida, where she played goalkeeper and was named the NCAA’s Adidas Goalkeeper of the year in 1987. Griffin played for the United States women’s national soccer team from 1987-1991 and was on the squad that won the first ever FIFA Women’s World Cup in 1991. After her playing career, she went on to coach multiple NCAA and United States national teams, including 24 seasons with the University of Washington women’s soccer team. Amy is currently the Executive Director for the OL Reign Academy and Head Coach of the US Deaf Women’s National Team.
Photo source: University of Washington
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