News from and about King County… from health updates to community news affecting our daily lives.
Today’s update includes information about the passing of former Washington State Senator George Fleming, King County Arts and Culture Fund grants, an extension of the comment period for King County Flood Control District’s public scoping meetings regarding the Lower Green River Corridor Flood Hazard Management Plan, local road closures, health updates and more.
This former native of Kent was a professional football and baseball player inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1981 and is likely the best Northwest athlete you’ve never heard of. Who is he?
(Answer is at the bottom).
Remembering Washington State Senator George Fleming
Walls? What walls?! Senator George Fleming could always find doors where others saw walls. His quiet determination and joyful laughter would break barriers and melt the ice in any room. I coached the state senate against the house in this pre-game picture with George at bat. He was an awesome parent, great Husky athlete, and strong legislative leader. Rest in peace to my former Washington State Senate colleague, George Fleming.
With Sen. Bob Lewis (left) and Sen. George Fleming (right) prior to the Washington State Legislature baseball game.
King County Arts & Culture Fund grants $19.5 million to creative businesses and organizations
Over 100 businesses and organizations will receive awards from the $19.5 million Arts & Culture Fund as part of King County’s Revive & Thrive initiative to support the economic recovery of the creative sector. The creative sector has been greatly impacted by the pandemic over the last 20 months, with many businesses among the first to close their doors and the last to reopen as the economy recovers. The funding is part of a larger $34.4 million American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) COVID relief fund included in the emergency COVID supplemental budget approved by the King County Council in May. To read the press release in its entirety, please click here.
Extension of Lower Green River Corridor Flood Hazard Management Plan PEIS Scoping Comment Period
In response to requests for more time, the King County Flood Control District is extending the scoping comment period for the Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for the Lower Green River Corridor Flood Hazard Management Plan until February 4, 2022 at 5 pm PST. Comments may be provided by mail, email, or online. Detailed information on the PEIS alternatives and how to comment can be found here.
One of my colleagues was sworn in by King County Superior Court Presiding Judge Jim Rogers on Zoom from a gas station, another took his oath from his home, and I was sworn in from a suburban Starbucks! While I would have preferred being at the King County Courthouse (Council is still held remotely for Covid) or at Caffe D’Arte (no drive-up window), I chose to IMPROVISE for this special council meeting.
As the holidays roll around, many of us are looking for ways we can help others. Below are a couple places where your donations go a long way:
FUSION Décor Boutique
1108 S. 322nd Pl, Federal Way, WA 98003
Donations are accepted Tuesday-Saturday, from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm
Please call beforehand at 253-839-4045 with a description of the items.
1414 S 324th St., Suite B101, Federal Way, WA 98003
Whole blood and apheresis donations are accepted Monday-Tuesday, from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm; Wednesday, Friday-Saturday, from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm; and Sunday, from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Call 800-398-7888 to schedule a donation appointment or click here to make an appointment online.
The Salvation Army
26419 16th Ave S., Des Moines, WA 98198
Open Monday-Thursday, from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm, and Friday from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm
Multi-Service Center Food Bank
1200 S. 336th St., Federal Way, WA 98033
Donations may be dropped off at the warehouse Monday-Friday, from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm
Auburn Food Bank
930 18th Pl NE, Auburn, WA 98002
Donations accepted in person Monday-Friday, from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm
In talking with Debbie Christian of the Auburn Food Bank and others, our local food banks need our help to keep their cupboards full. Please consider a donation of money or food so they can continue this valuable work.
30th Ave S and State Route 516 closed for Federal Way Link construction
Crews working on the Federal Way Link Extension fully closed a portion of 30th Ave S, south of State Route 516 in Kent this past Monday through December 24th. This closure will be in effect 24 hours a day/seven days a week.
State Route 516 in Kent will also be closed from State Route 99 to the Interstate 5 on- and off-ramps today, December 16th and then again December 20th through 23rd from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. Both closures are necessary to set bridge girders for the light rail guideway. Detour routes will be in place via S 272nd Street and S 200th Street. For more information, click here.
Weekly King County Health Updates
Firearm Safety and Tips
Called a public health crisis by CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky, firearm-related injuries (murder, homicide, dying by suicide, and unintentional and defensive gun deaths) are among the five leading causes of death in Americans ages 1-64. In King County, more people are killed by firearms than by car crashes. Locking up firearms is the best way to prevent childhood injuries or death, youth and adult suicide using a family firearm, and firearm theft leading to misuse by others. Learn how to protect yourself and others at LOCK-IT-UP program or call 206-477-7755.
COVID-19 booster update and tools to curbing the pandemic
The CDC has expanded its booster recommendations - adolescents ages 16 and 17 are eligible to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech booster shot six months after the second dose of their initial Pfizer series. The recommendation is based on data showing that boosters are highly effective in preventing serious illness, hospitalization, and death from the Delta and the rapidly spreading Omicron variant. Health experts stress that we have the tools to curb this pandemic - vaccines remain our best tool to protect your health, slow transmission, and decrease the chances that new variants will emerge. Learn more about boosters and more ways to protect yourself and others or call 1-800-525-0127.
King County COVID-19 Case Update
Today, Seattle – King County Public Health reported 637 new positive cases, bringing the total in King County to 178,701. In addition, Public Health reported 4 new deaths, bringing the total in the county to 2,133.
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:
Morris “Red” Badgro was born in the former town of Orillia (near the current location of Southcenter mall) in 1902 and graduated from what was known as Kent High School (later consolidated into Kent-Meridian High School) in 1921. Badgro attended the USC where he played baseball, basketball, and football. He then played nine seasons of professional football as an end for the New York Yankees (1927–1928), New York Giants (1930–1935), and Brooklyn Dodgers (1936). He was selected as a first-team All-Pro in 1931, 1933, and 1934. He scored the first touchdown in the first NFL Championship Game and was a member of the 1934 New York Giants team that won the second NFL Championship Game. Badgro also played professional baseball as an outfielder for six years from 1928 to 1933, including two seasons in Major League Baseball for the St. Louis Browns (1929–1930).
After his career as an athlete was over, Badgro served as a college football coach for 14 years, including a stint as the ends coach for University of Washington (1946–1953). Upon retiring from coaching football, Badgro worked for the Department of Agriculture in the State of Washington. In 1967, he was inducted into the Washington State Sports Hall of Fame and later inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1981 at age 78. At that time, he was the oldest person to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Badgro and his wife Dorothea resided in Kent until he passed away in 1998 at the age of 95.
(Photo Source: Pro Football Hall of Fame)
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