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King County Councilmember Pete von Reichbauer
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News from and about King County… from health updates to community news affecting our daily lives.

Dear Friends:

Today’s update includes news about a visit with the Kiwanis Club of Federal Way, a tour of the Auburn Ave Theater, a change to King County solid waste transfer facilities’ accepted mode of payment, King County Metro’s cancelled bus trips and search for panel members, crime updates, health updates, and more.

Washington Trivia

This University of Washington alum was the youngest member of the United States Navy in World War II to receive the Medal of Honor. Who was he?
(Answer is at the bottom).

Kiwanis Club of Federal Way

I was pleased to attend and speak to members of the Kiwanis Club of Federal Way at their December lunch meeting at Puerta Vallarta Mexican Restaurant. At a time of uncertainty, the Kiwanis Club is dedicated to changing the world one child and one community at a time. Over the years, I have been proud to support the work of the Kiwanis Club by providing grants for their annual fundraisers. As a former President of the Kiwanis Club, and as a current member, the Kiwanis club is a vital part of keeping our community strong and I appreciate their tireless work year after year.

With John Schneider, Linda Persha and members of the Kiwanis Club of Federal Way on December 7th

A Tour of the Auburn Avenue Theater

Badly damaged by a fire in 2021, the city of Auburn is moving ahead with plans to renovate and refurbish the Auburn Avenue Theater. As part of the King County budget, I was pleased to be able to secure $100,000 in funds to help with the project. A vibrant entertainment center is an important part of a thriving downtown and I enjoyed touring the rehabilitation project and seeing the progress that has been made.

With city of Auburn Mayor Nancy Backus and Parks, Arts and Recreation Director Daryl Faber in December

Personal checks no longer accepted at King County solid waste transfer facilities

Beginning December 5th, King County’s Solid Waste Division is no longer accepting personal checks to pay for disposal services at its transfer stations and drop boxes. Customers can continue to use cash, debit card, or credit card, and are encouraged to reduce costs by using facilities with recycling and yard waste disposal services.

Some residents may be eligible for the CleanupLIFT discount of $14 off the fee to dispose of garbage, yard waste, clean wood, mattresses, and refrigerant-type appliances by presenting a ProviderOne, EBT, or ORCA LIFT discount card upon entering the facility. Click here for more information or contact the King County Solid Waste Division at 206-477-4466 or 711 TTY Relay.

Transit Updates

Some bus trips canceled after vehicle issue identified

After two Metro operators identified a manufacturing issue in the steering system in some vehicles, Metro proactively removed 126 buses from service out of its 1,500-vehicle fleet. The identified problem did not lead to any accidents or injuries. Metro inspected all its buses to ensure all vehicles in service continue to perform safely and within specifications. The defect does not extend to all New Flyer buses, and many remain in service. Read more here. To check your trip and/or to discover other travel options, please use King County Metro’s planning tools:

• Use “Text for Departure” by texting your bus stop number to 62550. You will receive a text with the next departure times and/or canceled trips at that stop.

• Sign up for Transit Alerts via email or text.

• Visit TripPlanner.kingcounty.gov and/or use other map apps.

• Metro’s customer service office is open on weekdays from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays at 206-553-3000.

Join Metro’s research panel and shape our region’s future!

King County Metro is looking for 250 people to join a long-term panel program and share their feedback on new services, products and more. Panelists will be compensated for their membership on the panel and for participation in up to four research studies per year. Panel participants will be asked to share their thoughts on making the Metro experience more reliable, safe, and accessible, and responsive to their travel needs. For more information, please call 206-848-0668, email KCMetroResearch@kingcounty.gov, or read King County Metro’s blogpost.

Crime Updates

This update is intended to inform you about what is happening in our communities and where. Too often, we rely on anecdotal examples to shape our perceptions. I want you to have the facts. In addition to what is reported in the local news, I will be providing you with the tools to explore your neighborhood and our region. My hope is that this information will not only make us better informed, but also provide us with solutions for how we can address the issues facing our community as we move forward.

Click the following links to see crime information in Auburn, Federal Way, and all of King County.

Retail theft arrests in King County spike 100%

The King County Prosecutor's Office is seeing a dramatic increase in retail thefts being charged. Local businesses are experiencing more break-ins than ever before. In response to this ongoing issue, Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson is asking the state legislature to fund 10-full time positions for the Organized Retail Crime Task Force, with the goal to collaborate between law enforcement agencies as they focus on organized crime rings. Read more in the King5 news article here.

Law Enforcement Deaths

According to the National Law Enforcement Officer’s Memorial Fund, the number of law enforcement deaths in the U.S. soared in the recent years. For a complete year-by-year breakdown of law enforcement deaths throughout U.S. history, click here.

Support for Officer Jackson’s family

The Bellevue Police Foundation is accepting donations to support Officer Jordan Jackson’s young family. On November 21st, 34-year-old Officer Jackson died from his injuries in a collision that morning. Officer Jackson has been a valuable member of the Bellevue Police Department since 2018. Before becoming a police officer, he was an EMT, volunteer firefighter, and a member of the King County Sheriff’s Officer Search and Rescue Volunteer K-9 Unit.

Officer Jackson was recently honored as employee of the quarter for his excellent quality of work and service to the community. His supervisor commended him for his leadership in the department and eagerness to take on additional responsibility. He leaves behind his wife and two young children.

Health Updates

Updated dashboard shows continued devastation caused by fentanyl and disparities in overdose deaths

Since 2019, the number of overdose deaths in King County has grown exponentially, jumping by 20% between 2019 and 2020 and 39% between 2020 and 2021. By October 15, 2022, 710 overdose deaths had occurred in King County, surpassing the total number of deaths in 2021.

A redesigned Fatal Overdose Dashboard attempts to quantify the tragic toll of drug overdose in King County. The dashboard depicts the pervasiveness of the drug overdose crisis, and its disproportionate impact on specific communities. Read more in the Public Health Insider blogpost here.

King County COVID-19 Case Update

Today, Seattle – King County Public Health reported 253 daily average positive cases, bringing the total in King County to 532,182. In addition, Public Health reported 2 daily average deaths, bringing the total in the county to 3,311.

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 King County.

For in-home vaccination: Call King County COVID-19 Call Center at 206-477-3977.

To 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 or getting tested in King County.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: Call 9-8-8 to connect to the new Suicide & Crisis Lifeline, text TALK to 741-741 or visit https://988lifeline.org/.

Find your King County Council district here.

With best wishes,

Pete von Reichbauer
King County Councilmember

Washington trivia answer:

Robert Eugene Bush was the youngest member of the United States Navy in World War II to receive the nation’s highest military decoration for valor, the Medal of Honor, presented by President Harry Truman.

At age 18, Bush was recognized for his heroic actions while serving as hospital corpsman attached to a Marine Corps rifle company on May 2, 1945, during the Battle of Okinawa. He was wounded in action by shrapnel from three enemy hand grenades while attending to his wounded platoon commander and at the same time, firing the lieutenant's rifle to protect the lieutenant, himself, and rest of the platoon during an enemy attack.

Born in Tacoma, Bush joined the United States Naval Reserve at age 17 as an apprentice seaman, Class V-6, at Navy Recruiting Station in Seattle. After completing the recruit training, he was sent to the Naval Hospital Corps Schools in Farragut, Idaho. He was assigned to the Naval Hospital in Seattle, before completing further training at the Field Medical Service School in Camp Pendleton, California. He then finished high school after being honorably discharged on July 26, 1945. He later studied business administration at the University of Washington and founded the Bayview Lumber Company. Robert and his wife Wanda were the parents of a daughter and three sons. He died from kidney cancer on November 8, 2005, in Olympia at age 79.

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Contact me: pete.vonreichbauer@kingcounty.gov
206-477-1007, 800-325-6165, TTY/TDD 206-296-1024
Website: www.kingcounty.gov/vonReichbauer
Facebook: www.facebook.com/pete.vonreichbauer

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