News from and about King County… from health updates to community news affecting our daily lives.
Today’s update includes news about a historic flight to space, a first for the Seattle Kraken, information regarding November’s General Election, the reopening of U.S. land borders, an increase in Social Security benefits beginning next year, improvements at Sea-Tac International Airport, and more.
This former NASCAR driver from Enumclaw won 18 races over the course of his 15-year career. Who is he?
(Answer is at the bottom).
“Captain Kirk” becomes the oldest person to reach space with help of Kent aerospace company Blue Origin
William Shatner, the 90-year-old actor who led countless space voyages as the famed Captain Kirk on the TV show Star Trek, finally got the chance to blast off to space for real yesterday. With the help of Jeff Bezos and his aerospace company Blue Origin, headquartered in Kent, WA, he became the oldest person to reach space. The journey lasted 10 minutes and 17 seconds, reaching a height of 65.8 miles where the crew enjoyed the weightlessness of space and views of earth, before landing in West Texas. More information and a replay of the flight can be found here.
William Shatner is greeted by Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos upon returning from space (photo source: Blue Origin)
Ryan Donato scores first goal in franchise history for the Seattle Kraken!
Center Ryan Donato will forever go down in history as the first player to score a goal for the Seattle Kraken. The goal came during the 2nd period of Tuesday night’s season opener in Las Vegas against the Golden Knights. Despite the Kraken’s 4-3 loss to the Golden Knights, they showed signs of a promising season ahead. Hockey will finally return to Seattle on Saturday, October 23rd when the Kraken face off against the Vancouver Canucks at Climate Pledge Arena. You can watch video of the historic goal here.
It was my pleasure to present a grant for The Kiwanis Club of the Valley to President Kelly Jensen (who is also a teacher at Auburn Highschool) and Auburn City Council Member Yolanda Trout-Manuel. This grant will directly benefit the young people served by The Kiwanis Club of the Valley.
King County General Election Ballots have been mailed to voters
Ballots for this November’s general election were mailed out to nearly 1.4 million King County voters yesterday. Check out the Voters’ Pamphlet online to learn more about the candidates running to represent you. You should have yours in your mailbox by October 18. If you don’t, give King County Elections a call at 206-296-VOTE (8683).
U.S. to reopen land borders in November for fully vaccinated
Beginning in November, the United States will lift restrictions that have been in place since March 2020 at land borders with Canada and Mexico for fully vaccinated foreign nationals. Unvaccinated visitors from Canada and Mexico will still be barred from entering the United States. Starting in January 2022 essential travelers who are seeking to enter the country, like truck drivers, will need to be fully vaccinated. Click here for more information on the announcement by the Department of Homeland Security.
Peace Arch Park at the US-Canada Border in Blaine, Washington and Surrey, BC
Social Security benefits to rise by 5.9% for 2022
The Social Security Administration announced this week that recipients will receive an increase in benefits of 5.9% beginning in January 2022. The boost in benefits, which will affect nearly 70 million people, is being fueled by a spike in inflation caused by supply chain bottlenecks, worker shortages and other economic distributions from the pandemic. This increase is the biggest since 1982, compared to the average 1.7% increase in Social Security benefits over the last 10 years. Click here for more information.
Cell Phone Lot Access and Air Cargo Road Safety Improvements at SeaTac
A new overpass and south entrance opened this past week to reduce wait times exiting the cell phone lot at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. The overpass and entrance are accessed via a slight turn off the same exit of the Airport Expressway to eliminate traffic departing the cellphone lot and to reduce travel time west on S. 170th Street and to the main terminal. Other upgrades opening last week include dual right-turn lanes onto Air Cargo Road for additional capacity, plus a one-way parking lot configuration and expanded right turn lane. For more information about the improvements click here.
Rendering of cell phone lot access improvements at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport
Weekly King County Health Updates
Get Your Flu Vaccination
Health experts are forecasting a more active flu season this year and urge people ages 6 months and older to get a flu shot as soon as they can - by the end of October at the latest. Yearly flu shots are recommended because circulating influenza strains differ from season to season. They are 40-80 percent protective against infection and prevent serious respiratory illness, hospitalization, and death from influenza. Consult with your health care provider and visit Public Health-Seattle & King County and CDC for flu information and vaccination resources.
King County COVID-19 vaccination health order enacted soon
Beginning October 25, a King County Health Order will require people ages 12 and older to show proof of being fully vaccinated or a negative test result to enter certain events and spaces. People are fully vaccinated two weeks following a single dose of J&J vaccine or their second dose of either Pfizer or Moderna vaccines. A negative test result must either be an FDA-approved PCR test administered within the previous 72 hours or an FDA-approved rapid test administered by a testing provider on site at the event. Information about where you will need proof and approved forms of proof can be found at Public Health-Seattle & King County.
King County COVID-19 Case Update
Today, Seattle – King County Public Health reported 424 new positive cases, bringing the total in King County to 158,072. In addition, Public Health reported 10 new deaths, bringing the total in the county to 1,939.
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 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:
Kasey Kahne was born in Enumclaw and began racing open wheel sprint cars at Deming Speedway when he was 17, before moving up to the Skagit speedway in Alger, Washington. He turned pro in 2004 and went on to secure 18 career wins in the Cup Series, including three Coca-Cola 600s in 2006, 2008, and 2012, and the Brickyard 400 in 2017. He was also the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Rookie of the Year in 2004. Kahne retired from racing before the end of the 2018 Cup Series season due to health reasons.
Off the track, Kahne is active in charitable work and was a member of the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation. He also owns his own race team, Kasey Kahne Racing, which competes in the World of Outlaws series.
Photo source: Flickr
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