June 2020 Unincorporated Area Community News

Unincorporated Area Community News - King County Local Services

June 2020

Help for small businesses in unincorporated King County that have been hurt by COVID-19

graphic: small business fronts


On May 12, the King County Council approved a funding bill that included $3.5 million in grants for small businesses, $400,000 in technical support, and $100,000 in language access support—all dedicated to helping small businesses in unincorporated King County.

King County Local Services Director John Taylor and his staff have been working with council members on how best to coordinate with local chambers of commerce and community-based organizations (merchant associations, farmer trusts, downtown partnerships, etc.) to provide much-needed technical support for small businesses.

Local Services will contract with local community development financial institutions that have the expertise and experience to help businesses navigate the complex landscape of federal, state, and local grants, loans, payroll protection programs, and other aid programs related to COVID-19. These institutions will also help small businesses fill out grant applications and other documents. Local chambers of commerce, community-based organizations, and small businesses in unincorporated King County will all have access to this service.

Businesses will also have the option of using interpreters and translation services to access the technical support in their preferred language.

Details will be posted on the Local Services website in the coming weeks as they become available.

King County Library System

Library offers new service to connect King County residents with COVID-19 financial relief

The King County Library System Financial Assistance Navigation Service helps point King County residents to the financial assistance programs they need—such as business loans, unemployment claims, and rent assistance. Residents looking for guidance may visit the website to complete an online form detailing their small business and/or personal financial needs. They’ll receive personalized financial information and referrals from library staff members.

Those without a computer or Internet access may call 800-462-9600 for assistance.

Corona virus

Public Health

King County COVID-19 resources

Public Health-Seattle & King County
Website | News and BlogFacebook | Twitter

Washington State Department of Health
Website | FacebookTwitter

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Website | Twitter

----- COVID-19 Call Centers -----

Medical questions related to COVID-19
206-477-3977 (8 a.m. to 7 p.m.)

Non-medical questions about COVID-19, including compliance and business issues
King County COVID-19 Business and Community Information Line
206-296-1608 (Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.)

General questions about COVID-19 in Washington State
Washington State Novel Coronavirus Call Center

Road Services

Essential workers get masks sewn by local refugee artisans

Employees with masks

King County Road Services recently purchased 1200 face masks from Refugee Artisan Initiative in Seattle. The initiative's mission is to transform the lives of refugee and immigrant women by providing sustainable work in sewing and handcrafting products.

Many of Road Services’ essential workers have tried a few types of masks and say the initiative’s masks are comfortable to wear. Road Services is proud to support the initiative's mission while providing quality masks for their employees.

Photo: Traffic and Road Maintenance Manager Jeremy Ferguson (left) receives masks from Ming-Ming Tung-Edelman, founder and president of Refugee Artisan Initiative (right).

SW Roxbury Street paving update

King County Road Services and the Seattle Department of Transportation have teamed up to repave both directions of SW Roxbury Street between 16th Avenue SW and 18th Avenue SW in late May and early June. The improvements will help keep traffic moving safely and smoothly in this well-traveled part of White Center.

Summer roadside weed removal begins this month

Vegetation Control technicians will spray herbicide along some road shoulders in unincorporated King County from June through September. This annual program helps keep roadsides clear for pedestrians, motorists, and cyclists. Spraying also controls noxious weeds that are toxic to some animals and pose environmental risks to native trees and plants.

If your property is in King County’s right of way, you may opt out of herbicide spraying of non-noxious weeds only. Learn more on the county's Vegetation Control Program website.

Road work is coming to all parts of King County this summer

Paving work

Paving work on Des Moines-Memorial Drive S between White Center and South Park.

Between mid-June and September, Road Services crews will repave, improve drainage, and install safety features on several major arterials, including West Snoqualmie Valley Road NE, NE Novelty Hill Road, SE Auburn Black Diamond Road, and SE 384th Street.

Some of the paving and drainage work will require night work or full road closures. Stay in the know by signing up for road alerts, checking the MyCommute map, and keeping an eye out for upcoming road closure notification signs along your route.

SE Middle Fork Road is open again after damage repair

Slide damage to SE Middle Fork Road

One of the first jobs on Road Services’ list this spring was to repair and reopen Middle Fork Road, a popular outdoor recreation access point in the Snoqualmie River Valley.

The road was closed all winter at Milepost 9 (near Goldmyer Hot Springs) after a flood-induced slide on the neighboring hillside caused severe damage.

The road has been repaired and reopened in early May. Please #RecreateResponsibly and stay safe while enjoying the outdoors!

Photo: Damage to SE Middle Fork Road last winter. 

24/7 Road Helpline

Call Road Services for help with road maintenance and traffic safety issues in unincorporated King County (like downed stop signs, traffic signals that aren't working, or trees over the roadway) — 24 hours a day: 206-477-8100 or toll-free at 1-800-KC-ROADS, or send email.

You can also visit the King County Road Services website or follow Road Services on Twitter @kcroads.

Emergency Management

Donations Connector is making a difference

Video stills: student with mask

The King County Donations Connector is making a big difference in our communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. As of mid-May, King County had received:

• More than 49,000 N95 respirators
• More than 125,000 surgical masks
• About 105,000 gloves
• Nearly 900 gallons of hand sanitizer
• More than 7,000 face shields
• 200 thermometers

Donations are distributed to first responders, health care providers, and others fighting against COVID-19.

Those wanting to help and those who are with organizations in need can visit the Donations Connector website.

Photo: Students from Tesla Stem High School used the Donations Connector to find ways to donate handmade masks. Watch a short video to learn more.

Get ready for summer heat—and wildfires

Wildfire at night

While summers in the Pacific Northwest tend to be mild, we’ve seen heat waves and wildfire smoke in recent years. Now is a good time to prepare, if you haven’t already.
   • Get trained in first aid, and learn how to treat heat-related emergencies.
   • Check the weatherstripping on doors and windows to keep cool air inside.
   • Install window blinds or awnings to keep out the heat.
   • Fans alone aren’t enough when high heat combines with high humidity. Consider buying a portable or window-mounted air conditioner if you don’t have central air conditioning.
   • Prepare for wildfires.

Natural Resources & Parks

Knotweed workshops offered online in June and July

Injecting knotweed

King County’s Noxious Weed Program is offering its popular knotweed control classes online this year.

Invasive knotweed is one of the hardest weeds to control. It can overwhelm back yards, riverbanks and pretty much anywhere else it grows.

Participants learn how to control it in different situations and what resources are available for help, including free loans of knotweed injector tools.

The classes will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. on June 16, June 24, and July 2.

Register/learn more

Photo: Plant injection is one way to control knotweed.

Please put used personal protective items in the trash

Don't flush or litter with PPE

Everyone's been trying to get their hands on personal protective equipment, but what happens to disposable wipes, face masks, and gloves after they've been used?

Maybe you've seen these items littering roads, gutters, and parking lots, where they can be a hazard to health and wildlife. They also make their way into storm drains and end up at wastewater treatment plants, where they can cause clogs and backups.

A properly functioning sewer system is essential to public health—so please put used gloves, masks, and wipes in the trash!

Learn more


Recreate responsibly

Adventuring outdoors? Please recreate responsibly!

King County’s parks and trails are open, with some restrictions. Before heading out, review our tips to recreate responsibly—which will help us all keep each other safe, and keep the parks and trails open. See King County Parks’ COVID-19 response page to learn more.

King County Parks is a founding member of new Play Equity Coalition

The Play Equity Coalition is made up of more than 65 community groups, sports and recreation leagues, school districts, local governments, professional sports teams, and the University of Washington. It's aim is to create a King County where all youths have access to the mental, emotional, academic, and physical health benefits of movement, and where access to sport and outdoor recreation is not determined by zip code, language, or race. Learn more on the coalition website.

Free environmental science education packets

Food chain illustration

Nature Vision is offering free environmental science education packets for grades K-12. The topics are Ecosystems, Watersheds, Humans & Water, Ecological Impacts, Water Quality and Stormwater, Human Systems, and Invasive Plants. These packets cover science, systems thinking, writing, exploration, and games. They have answer keys and meet educational requirements. Just in time for at-home-summer-camp or family discovery time!

The packets were developed with support from the Cities of Auburn, Bothell, and Lynnwood, the King County Flood Control District, Wastewater Treatment Division, and Noxious Weed Control Program, and the Cascade Water Alliance.


Cultural relief fund grant deadline extended


4Culture has extended its COVID-19 Relief Fund grant deadlines and is offering community Zoom calls every Friday at noon. The agency will share information and resources for King County cultural workers and organizations as we all navigate the impact of the crisis.

Rural Area news

Greater Maple Valley Unincorporated Area Council

Comment letter—Queen City Farms 
On May 1, the council submitted detailed technical comments on Notice of Application and SEPA Notice, Optional DNS/MDNS File No. GRDE18-0048 – Queen City Farm Reclamation, Phase III.

This effort was led by Environment Committee member Marcia Kneadle, who has 29 years of experience with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) providing hydrogeology technical support to a succession of remedial project managers for the Queen City Farms Superfund site (including the current one). Our conclusions and recommendations were:
   1. Queen City Farm cannot restore the pre-mining hydrology or, especially, the hydrogeology.
   2. The trichloroethylene groundwater plumes migrate slowly enough that Boeing and the EPA, through the ongoing monitoring program, should be able to identify and address any issues in a timely manner.
   3. The stormwater control measures may not be adequate to manage future peak flows, so the permit should require a contingency plan to enable Queen City Farm to upgrade the stormwater detention capacity quickly, if needed.
   4. Include, as a condition, the reestablishment of year-round flows in the stream that originates from the spring at the south property boundary by pumping groundwater into that drainage (ideally at the spring location at the source of the stream) during the late summer and early fall.

—Submitted by Peter Rimbos, Corresponding Secretary

Vashon/Maury Island news

New York Times profiles Vashon plan for virus testing/tracing

In a May 16 article, the New York Times detailed a plan developed by Dr. Jim Bristow, a retired cardiologist and Vashon resident, and Dr. John Osborn, who works as an emergency room physician in Seattle and also leads Vashon’s Medical Reserve Corps. The plan, called the Rural Test & Trace Toolkit, could potentially serve as a guide for other isolated parts of the United States—including rural and tribal communities—as they continue to face outbreaks.

Read the article

Community organizations

NOTE: Although public meetings have been canceled, here's a list of community councils and associations that serve King County's unincorporated Community Service Areas, including their usual (or most recent) meeting sites and contact information where applicable.

:: Community Alliance to Reach Out and Engage

Lord of Life Lutheran Church
12819 160th Avenue SE, Renton

See blog for the latest information and to confirm meetings.

:: Enumclaw Plateau Community Association

Headsworks Brewing
1110 Marshall Avenue, Enumclaw

Newly formed community association. Monthly meetings are open to the public, and may feature guest speakers in addition to community reports and information from a variety of local organizations. For more information contact Nancy Merrill.

:: Fall City Community Association

Fall City Fire Station
4301 334th Place SE, Fall City

The Fall City Community Association promotes building of community, proactively communicates on local issues, and takes action on selected issues that affect the Fall City community. Open to the public. For more information, visit fallcity.org or email Angela Donaldson

:: Four Creeks Unincorporated Area Council

Eastside Fire & Rescue Station 78
20720 SE May Valley Road, Issaquah

Visit the website for the latest information and to confirm meeting dates and locations.

:: Greater Maple Valley Unincorporated Area Council

Monday, June 1, 7-9:30 p.m.—Zoom “virtual” meeting

(When face-to-face meetings resume, they will be at:
Maple Valley Fire Station
Southeast corner of SE 231st Street and SR-169 intersection)

Visit the website for the latest information and to confirm meetings.

:: Green Valley/Lake Holm Association Meeting

Mountain View Fire and Rescue, Station 95
32316 148th Avenue SE, Auburn

Stay connected through their Facebook page or by email.

:: Skywest Tool Library

Skyway Water and Sewer office
6723 S 124th Street, Seattle

Join the SkyWest Tool Library Monthly Meeting to learn more about helping to start a new tool library in Skyway. The purpose of the library will be to share ideas, teach, learn, and borrow tools and more. Contact the library on Facebook.

:: North Highline Unincorporated Area Council

North Highline Fire District
1243 SW 112th Street, White Center
(Parking and entrance are in the back of the station)

Monthly board meetings are open to the public and often feature guest speakers in addition to community reports and information from local organizations. For more information, email Liz Giba.

:: Upper Bear Creek Community Council

Woodinville Library
17105 Avondale Road NE, Woodinville

Visit the website or Facebook page for the latest information and to confirm meetings.

:: Vashon Chamber of Commerce First Tuesday Networking

Vashon Chamber of Commerce
17141 Vashon Highway SW, Vashon

Contact: Jim Marsh at 206-463-6217 or discover@vashonchamber.com.

:: West Hill Community Association

Skyway Fire District 20
12424 76th Avenue S, Seattle

The organization's website now features a page with information about businesses and restaurants in the community that are still operating during the Governor's "Stay Home, Stay Healthy" order.

Monthly board meetings are open to the public and often feature guest speakers as well as community reports and information from local organizations. For more information, visit the website or send emailLearn more on Facebook.

Director's corner

John Taylor, King County Local Services director

Recent videos showing the killing of George Floyd by a white police officer in Minneapolis left me deeply shaken and upset. Even worse is knowing that this is only the most recent in a long list of violent acts against people of color in this country.

These are extremely challenging times, and it would be easy to lose hope. People of color must be feeling this most acutely, and in ways their white neighbors, friends, and colleagues—myself included—cannot understand.

The Department of Local Services was created in large part to address the service disparities that have plagued communities of color in unincorporated King County. We’re working to create new ways to engage everyone in the communities we serve—and particularly those in historically underserved communities and communities of color, and those who face language barriers.

One of King County’s core principles is to be racially just. Executive Dow Constantine’s “True North” vision is to make King County a welcoming community where every person can thrive. In our department, we’re working hard to make that a reality for everyone in unincorporated King County.

Please stay safe, and take good care of yourselves and each other.

Director’s Corner is a column from John Taylor, the director of King County Local Services.To contact John, email AskLocalServices@kingcounty.gov or call 206-477-3800 (Relay 711; language interpreters available).