November 2023 Unincorporated Area Community News

Unincorporated Area Community News - King County Local Services

November 2023

Road Services is ready for the wet season. Are you?


In preparation for the rainy weather that comes with fall in this part of the world, King County Road Services maintenance crews work to ensure road safety and prevent flooding. Here are some of the tasks you may see them doing in your community this month:

Drain clearance: Leaves and fallen branches can clog drains. Road Services crews prioritize clearing these obstructions to make sure water can flow into the drains during heavy rains.

Pothole repairs: Potholes can be hazardous, especially during wet conditions. Road crews proactively identify and fill potholes, making the roads safer for everyone.

Road maintenance: Crews focus on comprehensive road repair work to address existing issues. Patching the road keeps water from going beneath the surface, which can lead to more extensive damage like cracks and larger potholes. This proactive approach helps maintain the road's structural integrity.

How you can help...

Driving in rain

Drive safely

• Reduce your speed in rainy conditions to prevent hydroplaning.
• Stay a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you.
• Make sure your tires have enough tread for wet road conditions.

Flood safety

• Stay informed about flood warnings and evacuation routes in your area.
Never drive through flooded roads. Remember to "Turn Around, Don't Drown."
• Prepare an emergency kit that includes essential supplies in case of flooding or road closures.

Learn more on the King County Road Services website


Local Services


Here are a few reminders about opportunities we've covered in previous issues.

► Alan M. Painter grant applications are open until 5 p.m. on Friday, December 15.

This program funds community projects that allow unincorporated area residents to participate in, and be more connected to, their communities and King County. Learn more

► Participatory Budgeting—now is the time to suggest ideas for improving your community with King County funds!

Do you live, work, or have another connection to  East Federal Way, East Renton, Fairwood, Skyway/West Hill, and/or White Center/North Highline? The Participatory Budgeting program needs your input on how to make your community an even better place.
Learn more | Submit your ideas

► County offers money to repair vandalized commercial buildings

Small businesses (with up to 25 employees) and commercial property owners in unincorporated King County can apply for grants of up to $5,000 to repair damage to their commercial buildings. Applications will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis through Dec. 31 or until the funds are used up. Learn more and apply


Fire Marshall retires after decades of public service

Chris Ricketts

Chris Ricketts retired last month after serving as the King County Building Official for 25 years and as the King County Fire Marshal for the past decade.

Ricketts wore several management hats for the King County Permitting Division’s Building Department, from reviewer to supervisor to manager. He worked on many unique and challenging projects, including ski lodges in the Cascades, large circus tents for the Cirque du Soleil show, amphitheaters, treehouses, straw-bale structures, and more than 50 public school structures.

You can read more about Chris and his career on this blog post.

Natural Resources and Parks

Grants available to buy or preserve open spaces and parks

Snoqualmie River Trail

King County Conservation Futures acquisition grants can help governmental agencies and qualified conservation nonprofits buy or preserve open spaces and parks for passive recreation.

Grants may help purchase or conserve urban greenspaces, natural areas, forests, community gardens, farms, and trails—including stormwater parks or parks near affordable housing. 

King County has announced important policy updates: the required project match has been reduced to 25% of total project costs for future awards. Opportunity area projects may qualify for a match waiver. Initial site stabilization costs related to public safety or resource protection are now an eligible cost, such as structure demolition, signage, or fencing.

The next Conservation Futures grant round opens November 6 and applications are due February 12, 2024. Visit the Conservation Futures application page for key information and to sign up for workshops. Contact with questions.

Free pesticide safety webinar for Spanish speakers Nov. 30

Pesticide application  

Pesticide safety is for everyone. Learn live, online, and from the pros. Attendees with their pesticide license can earn up to three Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) or Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) continuing education credits. Pesticide license not required for attendance. Three lucky attendees will win a Cabela’s gift card! Please share with any Spanish speaking pesticide users that you know.

Register and learn more here: USE PESTICIDAS CON SEGURIDAD Boletos, Jue, 30/11/2023 a las 13:00 | Eventbrite

Taller en línea gratuito: Use pesticidas con seguridad

Jueves, 30 de noviembre, 2023 // 13 - 16 h // en vivo & en línea

El año ya casi termina; ¿aun necesitas créditos de recertificación de pesticidas? Este seminario gratuito en línea, ofertado en español, brindará a los participantes información general acerca de cómo leer las etiquetas de los pesticidas, como proteger al medio ambiente del impacto de los pesticidas, e insectos invasivos de relevancia en Washington. Se otorgarán 3 créditos de recertificación de pesticidas de parte del Departamento de Agricultura del Estado de Washington (WSDA) y del Departamento de Agricultura de Oregón (ODA). Los participantes deberán atender todo el seminario en línea para poder recibir los créditos. Asista para la oportunidad de ganar una tarjeta de regalo de Cabela's!

Regístrate y aprende más: USE PESTICIDAS CON SEGURIDAD Boletos, Jue, 30/11/2023 a las 13:00 | Eventbrite

Hazard management


Cybersecurity awareness: how to stay safe online

This time of year, it’s normal to spend more time online, especially with holiday shopping. All online activity, including shopping, can leave you vulnerable to cyber threats. Here are some steps you can take to reduce your risk of a cyberattack.

Make sure your devices and software are up to date. Many cyberattacks exploit weaknesses in older versions of apps and software. Updating to the current version will usually patch those weak spots.

Use strong passwords that are long, hard to guess, and unique to each account. A password manager can help you keep track of more complicated passwords and multiple accounts.

Use multi-factor authentication whenever you can. It provides a secondary method for confirming your identity and can help prevent unauthorized access to your accounts even if your password is compromised. Learn more

Learn to recognize and report phishing. Phishing attacks use harmful links or attachments to steal personal information and infect devices, and they are designed to look like they come from trusted sources. Look for clues in the messages to avoid falling for these scams. Don’t click on links or open attachments you don’t trust, and delete or report them when possible.

When shopping online, always double check that vendor websites are legitimate and payment systems are encrypted before you provide any personal information. Check your credit card and bank statements regularly for any fraudulent charges.

The online world is a regular part of life, but always remember to be cautious. Watch for suspicious activity – if you feel any doubt, don’t click, and do not provide personal information. To learn more, follow the hashtag #SecureOurWorld on social media and/or visit King County's cyberterrorism web page.

Public Health

Public Health Kent COVID-19 vaccine clinic is open!

Public Health clinic


Updated COVID-19 vaccine is available for adults and children aged six months and older.

• NO COST if you don’t have insurance or your insurance doesn’t fully cover the cost.
• If you have insurance, please bring your insurance information. Most insurance covers the cost.
• FREE flu shot available when you get a COVID-19 shot.

Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 9:30 am to 12:30 pm, 1:30 pm to 6:00 pm

Schedule an appointment:*

• Online at gov/kentvaccine (in English, Spanish, Somali, Chinese, Vietnamese, Russian)
By phone at 206-477-6950 and choose option #5. Ask for your language if you need an interpreter.

*Appointments are strongly encouraged. There are limited walk-in slots available.

Open enrollment for health insurance in Washington starts November 1

The 2024 annual open enrollment period runs Nov. 1 through Dec. 15 for health coverage that starts Jan. 1.This year, everyone who lives in Washington State will have the opportunity to sign up for insurance, regardless of their immigration status.

Public Health’s Community Health Access Program has staff members who can help you find affordable insurance options, answer questions, and help you apply. Call: 1-800-756-5437 or send email to

Animal services

“Fall” in love with a new dog from RASKC! Adoption special is now underway

Adopt a dog

Days are turning colder and nights are getting longer. It's a perfect time to cuddle up with a new canine companion from Regional Animal Services of King County.

Through November 30, if you adopt a large adult dog (six months or older and 25 pounds or more) RASKC will waive the adoption fee.

Adopting a shelter dog can be a very rewarding experience. RASKC's mission is to place great pets into great homes. Each adoption comes with many benefits, including spay/neuter surgery, initial vaccinations, microchipping, and a 30-day trial of pet health insurance.

The King County Pet Adoption Center is at 21615 64th Avenue S in Kent. Adoption hours are noon to 5 p.m. on weekdays and noon to 4 p.m. on weekends. Prospective adopters are encouraged to visit the facility in person to pick out the perfect companion. If you make a match, expect to spend at least 30 minutes completing the adoption process and having your pet care questions answered. You can even browse the current selection of adoptable animals online!

WSU Extension

Upcoming WSU Extension learning opportunities for King County forest owners

Unhealthy tree
  1. Climate Change and Puget Sound Area Forests – Free webinar on November 16, 2023. Climate change is impacting forest health throughout the area. In this webinar, learn about what to expect, practical strategies for increasing forest resilience, and where to go for help and additional information. Pre-registration required.
  2. Online Forest Stewardship Coached Planning course – starts January 18, 2024. Learn everything you need to know about caring for your forest, including how to write your own personalized forest stewardship plan that could help qualifying landowners save money on property taxes through King County's Public Benefit Rating System (PBRS) program. Participants will receive a site visit to their property by a professional forester. Cost: $150. Pre-registration required.

Art hanging

Arts and culture

Artists can apply to exhibit their works at 4Culture

Attention King County artists! 4Culture is accepting applications from artists for the 2024-2025 season. This is a great opportunity for artists who are looking for space to show their work. Apply from Nov. 1 through Dec. 14 at


Rural Area news

Greater Maple Valley Unincorporated Area Council expresses concerns about contaminated soil at Reserve Silica site

In October the Greater Maple Valley Unincorporated Area Council sent letters to the King County Permitting Division and the King County Council regarding the dumping of contaminated soil at the Reserve Silica old mining site in Ravensdale. To learn more, visit the Greater Maple Valley Unincorporated Area Council website.

Submitted by Peter Rimbos, Coordinator, Joint Rural Area Team

Community organizations

:: 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

Third Tuesdays at 6 p.m.
 Muckleshoot Library (King County Library branch)
39917 Auburn Enumclaw Road SE, Auburn

Monthly board meetings are open to the public, and often feature guest speakers in addition to community reports and information from a variety of local organizations. For more information email Nancy Merrill.

:: Fall City Community Association

First Tuesdays – Hybrid meeting (virtual and in-person, 7-8:30 pm)
Fall City Fire Department meeting room
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. Meetings are held the first Tuesday of every month, and are open to the public. For more information, visit or email send email

:: Four Creeks Unincorporated Area Council

Second Tuesdays – Virtual meeting via Zoom 

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

:: Greater Maple Valley Unincorporated Area Council

Monday, November 6, 7-9:30 pm – in person or via Zoom
Maple Valley Fire Station
22225 SE 231st St (across from the King County Sheriff’s Precinct #3)

Visit the website for the agenda and Zoom information, which will be posted several days before the meeting.

:: Green Valley/Lake Holm Association

The Green Valley/Lake Holm Association advocates for those who live in unincorporated southeast King County. Primary goals are to maintain the community’s unique historic, agricultural, and rural character; protect the environment; and sustain quality of life in the area. They engage regularly with local government agencies to address concerns and influence policies on topics of mutual interest, such as growth and development, transportation, public safety, and flood control. Stay connected by visiting their Facebook page.

:: North Highline Unincorporated Area Council

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.

:: Skywest Tool Library

Working 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. To learn more, email

:: Upper Bear Creek Community Council

For information, call Nancy Stafford at 425-788-5841 or visit the Facebook page.

:: Vashon Chamber of Commerce

Send email or visit the website.

:: Vashon-Maury Community Council

Meetings are open to all and are held on the third Thursday of each month, both online and in-person. Topics include affordable housing, ferries, election candidates, transportation, aviation noise, and more. The council sets up committees and passes resolutions to King County and other organizations as needed. Voting membership is free and open to residents 18 and older. To learn more, visit the website.

:: West Hill Community Association

Meetings are in person or via Zoom
Skyway Fire District 20 Admin Building
12424 76th Avenue S, Seattle

Monthly board meetings are open to the public, and often feature guest speakers in addition to community reports and information from a variety of local organizations. For more information, send email or visit the website.