Today’s update includes information on my recent visit to the new COVID-19 testing site in Federal Way, a new grant program for chambers of commerce and community-based organizations supporting businesses in unincorporated King County, the retirement of King County Metro’s last diesel-only coaches, health and economy updates, and more.
How did Bellevue get its name?
(Answer is at the bottom).
National First Responders Day
Tomorrow, October 28th, is National First Responders Day, a day designated by the United States Congress in 2017 to honor and appreciate the first responders who immediately take action in emergencies and selflessly put their lives on the line to keep us safe. Whether a firefighter, a police officer, a paramedic, or an EMT, we extend our appreciation to each one of our first responders, especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Photos with South King County leaders and first responders at a community event prior to COVID-19.
New COVID-19 Testing Site in Federal Way
Last week, I had the opportunity to visit the newest COVID-19 testing site in Federal Way, which is operated by King County in cooperation with St. Francis Hospital, CHI Franciscan, and South County fire agencies. The testing site is open from Monday to Saturday, 9:30 AM – 5:30 PM at the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center (650 SW Campus Dr. Federal Way, 98023).
People are encouraged to register for a testing appointment to help speed up the registration process. While walk-ups are welcome, people can also receive a test in their vehicle. If you need help with registration or information on other free test sites, call the King County COVID-19 Call Center at (206) 477-3977 or visit Public Health’s testing webpage. For a virtual tour and to see what to expect, view this video on YouTube or Vimeo.
With South King Fire Lt. Greg Willet at the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center testing site.
New grant program for chambers of commerce and community-based organizations in unincorporated King County
King County Local Services has a new grant program which aims to support existing chambers of commerce and community-based organizations (CBOs) that provide marketing and technical assistance to small businesses in unincorporated King County. Interested chambers of commerce and CBOs must apply by 5:00 PM, Friday, October 30th. King County Local Services, which is administering the program, will notify applicants of their status in early November. Click here for more information.
King County Metro celebrates retirement of fleet’s diesel-only coaches
Continuing its commitment to a zero-free emission future, King County Metro is celebrating the “retirement” of the last diesel-only 1100-model coaches in its fleet after 21 years of service to the residents of King County. Along with receiving a “gold tire” in recognition of its devoted service to the people of King County, one 1100-model coach will join its predecessors in retirement as part of the historic bus fleet maintained by the Metro Employee Historic Vehicle Association (MEHVA), a group dedicated to preserving the region’s transit history. Parts and equipment on the remaining diesel-only coaches will be recycled for use throughout the transit fleet. Read more about it here.
King County Population Dashboard
The Communities Count coalition recently posted a new King County Population Dashboard, which is an interactive tool where users can explore population data indicators such as age, race, language and socioeconomic status, by different geographic groupings in King County.
U.S. unemployment claims fell to 787,000 last week
The U.S. Labor Department reported that the weekly initial claims for unemployment benefits fell to a seasonally adjusted 787,000 in the week ending October 17th, which is a 55,000 decrease from the prior week’s revised level. Since the coronavirus pandemic shut many businesses in March, new applications for unemployment benefits fell to the lowest levels this month, which is a sign of improvement for the U.S. economy. However, many economists expect the pace of economic recovery to slow due to concerns about a resurgence of the virus in many parts of the country. Read more about this in the Wall Street Journal article here.
Source: Labor Department News Release
Weekly King County Public Health Update: Parenting during the Pandemic
The past seven months have challenged us in unprecedented ways, especially parents and/or guardians in their new roles. Perhaps they worry about the increased anxiety and isolation that their children and young adults may be feeling or are stressed by additional responsibilities such as overseeing online learning while keeping their families healthy. Experts at Public Health – Seattle and King County and psychologists report that these feelings are normal right now and offer the following recommendations for parents, guardians, and child caregivers:
• Practice self-care Make your family’s (including yours) physical and mental health a priority.
• Stay connected Find safe ways to regularly keep in touch with family members and friends (phone calls, video calls, letters). Talk with your children about issues that may be concerning them these days.
• Establish routines Set a schedule (waking and sleeping, work and play, and meals) in order to give children a sense of control and aid in decreasing stress and increasing resiliency.
• Limit screen time Balance your children’s recreational activities.
• Balance together and solitary time Enjoy together time (board games, walks, watching a movie, or cooking together), but also allow for some alone time to recharge.
• Give yourself and others some grace Recognize that each family member may have different personalities/needs and it is important to stay healthy as we stay at home.
• Reach out for support No person has all of the answers or gets it right all of the time. Multiple resources exist to support you as you parent and care for your children.
• Additional resources for parenting during COVID-19
Showing Up For Our Kids During The Outbreak
Talking to Kids about COVID-19
Auburn Valley Humane Society Online Auction & Week of Giving
The Auburn Valley Humane Society (AVHS) is inviting you to participate in their Online Auction and Week of Giving! The signature annual fundraiser will run through Friday, October 30th. This is a great opportunity to support the homeless animals in our community. Make sure you get the winning bid for your dream getaway, artwork, or fun items for your furry friend!
1. Register for the event here.
2. Like AVHS on Facebook and join the Facebook event here.
3. Please consider making a gift anytime now through October 30th. Your donation saves animals' lives!
King County Case Update
As of yesterday, Seattle – King County Public Health reported 180 new cases, bringing the total in King County to 26,521. In addition, Public Health reported 2 new deaths, bringing the total in the county to 791.
Stay In. Stay Healthy. Stay Strong.
Pete von Reichbauer
King County Councilmember
Washington trivia answer:
Prior to the arrival and settlement of the first European American homesteaders (William Meydenbauer and Aaron Mercer) in the 1860s, the Duwamish tribe maintained a small outpost settlement in the south of the present-day downtown Bellevue, called Satskal.
According to HistoryLink, Meydenbauer was a baker in Seattle who settled alongside the sheltered bay which now bears his name, while Mercer farmed along what is now known as the Mercer Slough. After their land became profitable, they decided to sell their claims and move on. In the 1880s, Isaac Bechtel Sr. bought land near the present downtown area, which was logged and cleared by his sons. Other settlers followed suit and by 1890, a sawmill, shingle mills and farms developed in the area.
Moving with his brothers from Bellevue, Indiana, and with the views of Lake Washington and the Cascade mountains on both ends of his property, Mathew S. Sharpe, the first postmaster in the area, named his new home Bellevue, which means “beautiful view” in French. Bellevue was incorporated on March 21, 1953.