The holiday season is upon us and we won’t let the COVID-Grinch steal our holiday spirits. As we celebrate Christmas in the corners of our homes and virtually connect with our families and friends, I encourage you to keep in your thoughts the men and women in uniform and PPEs and thank them for their sacrifices to ensure our safety throughout this challenging year. I hope you enjoy today’s updates.
How did Yarrow Point get its name?
(Answer is at the bottom).
Federal Way Public Schools Priority Hire Program
Last week, I met with Federal Way Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Tammy Campbell and Representative Jesse Johnson to discuss programs and partnerships that invest in South King County students, such as the pre-apprenticeship priority hire program. It is important for us to continue to invest in our youth and so in support of this project, I added a $250,000 appropriation in the 2021-2022 King County budget to create this pre-apprenticeship training program with Federal Way Public Schools’ Career and Technical Education. The program will provide our high school students with valuable mentorship and hands-on training in the construction trades industry that will place them in an elevated position for potential employment opportunities.
In addition, we discussed some of the construction projects the school district is currently undertaking and received this update from Dr. Campbell, “At this point in time, the Thomas Jefferson High School project is on time and under budget, with some of these savings now being allocated towards improvements at some of the athletic fields.”
With FWPS Superintendent Dr. Tammy Campbell and Representative Jesse Johnson
Governor announces international travel restrictions amid COVID-19 mutation
On Monday, December 21st, Gov. Jay Inslee and state health officials announced new international travel restrictions on travelers arriving from the United Kingdom and South Africa and other nations that have reported cases of a COVID-19 virus that has mutated. The order is not a mandate or a ban on travel but is recommending that travelers from these countries should isolate themselves for 14 days upon arrival in Washington state, including those who just arrived in the past days. Experts said that the vaccines being rolled out would still be effective against it, indicating that early evidence shows the strain is not more lethal but is roughly 70% more contagious. Watch the announcement here.
Taiwan snaps world’s longest coronavirus-free streak after pilot infects resident
After leading the world in COVID-19 containment for 253 days, authorities in Taiwan announced a roll back in foreign flights and stricter quarantine requirements for crew members following the identification of the first locally transmitted coronavirus case since April. A cargo pilot who flew routes abroad, including the United States as the most recent one, was said to already be coughing in his last flight but did not wear a mask at all. The Taiwanese government fined the pilot $10,000, the maximum under the law, for not reporting his symptoms, contacts and the places he visited while sick. Additionally, new regulations would potentially increase the isolation period to 14 days, instead of the three-day quarantine period for arriving pilots and five days for cabin crew members. You can read more here.
Federal Way Veterans Committee receives $18,000 grant
It was an honor to present $18,000 from King County to Veterans from South King County to support their building a memorial to honor those who served in all the branches of the armed services from our area, particularly those who made the ultimate sacrifice. United in life, united in death!
With my fellow veterans and Federal Way Mayor at the Performing Arts and Event Center Grand Staircase.
From right to left front row: King County Councilmember Pete von Reichbauer, Mayor Jim Ferrell, VFW Commander Roger Flygare, Bob Celski, Frank James, State VFW Commander Traci Williams and Bob Kellogg. Back row: Dick Whipple, Keith Selthofer, Derrek Dean and past VFW Commander Frank Bannister.
Weekly King County Health Update: A Happy, Healthy and Safe Holiday Season
December is filled with joyous holidays and special observances from many different cultures. As we celebrate, there are important things we can do to stay happy, healthy, and safe.
Take care in preparing and storing holiday food items by following these tips.
Many residential fires are caused by candles and holiday/Christmas trees. Washington Department of Health offers these tips as well as these reminders.
• Never leave candles unattended or place them on trees or other flammable objects.
• Select fresh trees and water them daily. Keep them away from heat sources.
• Consider a fire-retardant, artificial tree – they are a safer option.
• Do not burn treated wood, holiday/Christmas tree branches, or wrapping paper in your fireplace.
• Make sure your home has the required smoke detectors that are in working order.
• Have an appropriate type of fire extinguisher easily available and in working order.
Each year, many children are injured by toys that may seem safe. Adults should choose toys wisely for children and supervise them for proper use. For a fun-filled time consider these tips and the following:
• Follow age and safety guidelines for toys.
• Choose toys that are specific to the skills and abilities of children.
• Consider how much adult supervision a toy will need and whether you can provide it.
• Keep toys used by older children away from younger children (such as those with small parts that can be swallowed, sharp edges, breakable material, electric, etc.)
• For any riding toy gifts (bicycles, miniature vehicles, scooters, sleds, tricycles, skates, skateboards, etc.), supervise your child and make sure the child wears a helmet that meets safety standards and has been fitted for the specific child.
King County Case Update
Yesterday, Seattle – King County Public Health reported 179 new cases, bringing the total in King County to 58,286. In addition, Public Health reported 19 new deaths, bringing the total in the county to 1,012.
Stay In. Stay Healthy. Stay Strong.
Pete von Reichbauer
King County Councilmember
Washington trivia answer:
Located on the eastern shore of Lake Washington, Yarrow Point is one of the three points of land around the lake with the other two being Evergreen Point and Hunts Point. According to HistoryLink, the community’s name was given by Leigh Hunt, owner and publisher of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
Hunt bought most of the point in 1888 and built his home on the northern shoreline, naming it “Yarrow”, which was after the poem “Yarrow Visited”.
And is this —Yarrow? —This the stream
Of which my fancy cherished,
So faithfully, a waking dream?
An image that hath perished!
O that some Minstrel's harp were near,
To utter notes of gladness,
And chase this silence from the air,
That fills my heart with sadness!
William Wordsworth. “Yarrow Visited.” Poetry Foundation, September 1814, www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/45567/yarrow-visited-september-1814
Compiled by Cyndee Navarro of my office.