October 2012

Unincorporated Area Community News

Welcome to Community News, King County government's monthly newsletter for unincorporated area residents. You can find the newsletter online with links to program details, at www.kingcounty.gov/UnincorporatedAreaNews. To see previous versions of the Unincorporated Area Community Newsletter visit the archives.


Oct 6
Conservation Futures GeoTour

Kids' Mountain Bike Day at Duthie Hill Park

Oct 9
Managing wood in rivers public meeting

Oct 10
West Hill Community Association Board meeting

Oct 15
Vashon-Maury Island Community Council General meeting

Oct 16
West Hill Community Association Quarterly meeting

Oct 17
Four Creeks UAC meeting

Oct 23
Upper Bear Creek Community Council meeting

Oct 24
Cedar River meeting

Fair Housing workshop

Oct 26
Halloween Swim and Haunted Tunnel event

Nov 1
North Highline UAC meeting

Nov 5
Vashon-Maury Island Community Council Board meeting

Greater Maple Valley
Area Council meeting

Nov 6
Forest wind damage workshop

King County 2013-14 budget proposal

King County Executive Dow Constantine in September proposed a balanced 2013-14 budget that funds most County services at current levels, despite limited growth in the economy. The King County Council is expected to adopt a final budget in November. Among budget items of interest to unincorporated area communities:

  • New state requirements to do more to clean up stormwater and dwindling revenue to the County because of city annexations is driving an increase in the County’s Surface Water Management fee.
  • To address revenue shortfalls from a sharp drop in property values and losses from annexations – without a corresponding drop in responsibility for 1,500 miles of County roads, bridges and culverts, as well as keeping roads clear in the coming winter – several modest funding measures to save a small portion of essential road services and projects are proposed.

Read more about the 2013-14 Executive Proposed Budget.

Engage with King County

King County Parks geocache tour
The Conservation Futures GeoTour kickoff is 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Oct. 6 at Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park. Can’t make the kickoff? Start on your own and see the beautiful King County parks, trails and forests that Conservation Futures funding has protected from development. Earn a trackable 30th anniversary Conservation Futures commemorative geocoin. 

Kids’ mountain bike day at Duthie
Take a kid mountain biking at Duthie Hill Mountain Bike Park in Issaquah on Oct. 6, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. All ages are welcome. Bike rides throughout the park, free BBQ lunch, a jump show by local and professional riders, mini stunt course, volunteer opportunities and prizes. Check out the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance webpage for more details.

Sign-up for RoadWise e-newsletter
Sign up to receive the RoadWise e-newsletter to learn the latest about work to provide for the future of the County roads that are essential to your commute, your business and your life.

Managing wood in rivers
All are invited to a public meeting Oct. 9 from 6-7:30 p.m. at the Mercer Island Community Center to discuss King County’s procedures for managing naturally occurring large wood in rivers, which differs from wood placed as part of capital projects. The proposed procedures update the 2008 guidelines that define how King County responds to fallen trees in rivers that could result in a public safety hazard. The comment period for the proposed procedures ends Oct. 22. Read more here.

I love the Cedar River
King County is holding its second-annual Cedar River meeting to discuss short- and long-term goals for returning the river to more natural conditions for a safer and healthier future. Staff will present updates on local flood-risk reduction and habitat restoration projects and the resulting changes. The meeting includes an open house where participants can visit with County staff to talk about river projects and safety, watershed protection and salmon recovery. The meeting is set for 6 - 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 24, at the Lake Wilderness Lodge, 22500 SE 248th St., Maple Valley. For more details, call 206-296-8001.

Halloween Swim and Haunted Tunnel at regional aquatic center
Join King County Parks at the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center for the annual Halloween swim and haunted tunnel that is sure to give you goose bumps on top of goose bumps, Friday, Oct. 26, 6 – 7:30 p.m. and 8 – 9:30 p.m. The swim party kicks off with a costume contest before everyone is invited to bob for apples in the recreation pool, dive for coins or take a turn riding around in a canoe. If you’re feeling brave, venture down to the underground haunted tunnel and show the eerie bats and cackling witches who’s boss! Read the Parks blog for more information on the event.

Forest wind damage workshop
Just in time for storm season, WSU Extension is offering a workshop on forest wind damage. Topics to be covered include management strategies for wind-firm trees, forest health issues around wind, appropriate and inappropriate practices to prevent wind damage and cleaning up wind-damage. Nov. 6 at the Preston Community Center. Pre-registration is required, and can be done on the website or call 425-357-6023.


October is Flood Awareness Month
Flooding is King County’s most common weather-related disaster, with 12 presidentially declared disasters since 1990. Despite current weather, we know that flooding happens every year. So get ready and stay ready! Update your family’s emergency plan and kits, sign up for free flood alerts, monitor flood conditions and follow King County Rivers on Facebook. Learn more in the press release.

Building permitting move and name change
King County’s newly renamed Permitting and Environmental Review department is moving to Snoqualmie. The offices of the former Department of Development and Environmental Services in Renton will close permanently at noon on Friday, Oct. 19.

Watch your mailbox!
Ballots for the General Election will be mailed Oct. 17. King County Elections anticipates long lines during the Nov. 6 General Election. Avoid the lines – read the instructions, complete your ballot and send it back early. If you miss the mail, look for drop boxes throughout King County, including convenient locations for residents of unincorporated areas.

Youth Services Center
King County Juvenile Detention is responsible for the care and custody of youth who are detained in the current Youth Services Center. Click on the link for more information related to juvenile detainees.

Auto body rule tool
Auto body shops can tour the virtual Auto Body Rule Tool and discover air, water, hazardous waste, safety and fire rules. This multi-agency tool features training & recordkeeping, safety equipment and practices, fire protection essentials and EPA's new "6-H Rule."

King County Wastemobile
Cleaning out the garage or shed? Take unwanted hazardous products for disposal to a Wastemobile near you. Check out the events calendar or find a facility near you.

Smart911 service enhances emergency 9-1-1 response
In an emergency, seconds count. Making sure 9-1-1 call takers and emergency responders have all the information they need can mean the difference between life and death. Smart911 is a supplemental data service that allows King County residents to create a personal safety profile, which includes exact address, medical, disability, and other critical personal information. This information is stored in a secure database, can be updated anytime, and is viewed only by 9-1-1 call centers and emergency responders. The service is free and voluntary. For more information, visit Smart911 webpage.

The Great Washington ShakeOut emphasizes disaster preparedness
In a Disaster Preparedness Month proclamation, Governor Chris Gregoire urged all state residents to take appropriate actions now to prepare for future emergencies. To support this effort, a statewide “Drop, Cover and Hold On” drill will be held on Oct. 18 at 10:18 a.m. The earthquake exercise will be part of the Great Washington ShakeOut event in which Washington will join its neighbors in Oregon, Idaho, California and British Columbia in one of the largest earthquake drills ever. More than 475,000 Washington residents have signed up to participate. Register on-line.

Groups honored with Executive’s Award for Community Preparedness
Emergency preparedness is a “whole community” effort, and key to surviving disaster. The Muckleshoot Indian Tribe and the Wesley Homes Lea Hill senior housing community in Auburn were both honored with the second-annual Executive's Award for Community Preparedness for their outstanding efforts to prepare for and respond to emergencies, strengthening King County as a whole. The Muckleshoot Tribe was chosen for quick action after last winter's devastating storm coated roads with ice and knocked down power lines, leaving residents in the dark and without heat. The residents and staff at Auburn’s Wesley Homes Lea Hill have embraced emergency preparedness by conducting search-and-rescue drills, practicing evacuation techniques and forming a local HAM radio group. Read more here.

Lake Alice Road culvert work
King County Roads Division continues to work with the community on plans to address the failing culvert beneath Lake Alice Road. Information about construction, a two- to three-week road closure and detour are being finalized and will be posted online when complete. Learn more on the project website and you can join a mailing list by emailing Ashley DeForest.

New signs of foundation failure prompt closure of Southeast 408th Street Bridge
King County has informed Muckleshoot tribal leaders that severe structural deterioration will require the closure of the Southeast 408th Street Bridge near State Route 164 between Enumclaw and Auburn on Oct. 15. 

Community news

Green Valley (New group)
This past summer a group of residents of the Green River Valley formed to address issues related to the Green River Valley such as preservation of its Agricultural Production District and the Heritage Corridor Status of Green Valley Road; monitoring potential impacts on local roadways and protection of the Green River. To jumpstart the group's efforts, informative tours of the area were given to King County’s Community Service Area staff, including a tour of the area’s historic Neely Mansion. The group is receiving technical assistance from the Greater Maple Valley Area Council.

Four Creeks

Four Creeks Unincorporated Area Council meeting

Oct. 17, 7 p.m., at the May Valley Alliance Church, 16431 SE Renton-Issaquah Rd. in Renton

Greater Maple Valley

Annual operating model train show
The Greater Maple Valley Unincorporated Area Council will hold its 15th Annual Operating Model Train Show on Saturday and Sunday, October 20 & 21, from 10 AM to 5 PM at the Gracie Hansen Community Center gymnasium at 27132 SE Ravensdale Way in Ravensdale. The show includes all kinds of operating model trains and train-related items in a very relaxed atmosphere where people of all ages can wander about and enjoy the trains at their own pace. All members of the public are invited. For more information please visit the website.

Greater Maple Valley Area Council meeting

Nov. 5, 7 p.m., at the Fire Station, 231st St and SR-169 in Maple Valley

North Highline


Bethaday Community Learning Space grand opening reception
Celebrate Technology Access Foundation’s new home at Lakewood Park in White Center at a community grand opening reception, Wednesday, Oct. 24, 5 – 8 p.m.

North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meeting

Nov. 1, 7 p.m., North Highline Fire District Office, 1243 SW 112th St. in Seattle

Upper Bear Creek

Upper Bear Creek Community Council meeting

Oct. 23, 7:30 p.m., Woodinville Water District Office, 17238 NE Woodinville-Duvall Road, Woodinville

Vashon-Maury Island

Maury Island open space Site Planning Advisory Group monthly meeting

The Maury Island Open Space Site Planning Advisory Group (PAG) will be holding its monthly meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 10 from 6 – 8 p.m. in the McMurray Middle School Library (9329 Cemetery Rd., Vashon). The Planning Advisory Group is responsible for helping develop a management plan for the site. All PAG meetings are open to the public. Learn more about the Maury Island Open Space Site and the Planning Advisory Group.

Vashon-Maury Island Community Council General meeting

Oct. 15, 6:30 p.m. Vashon-Maury Island Community Council General Meeting-McMurray Middle School, Multi-purpose room, 9329 Southwest Cemetery Road, Vashon

Vashon-Maury Island Community Council Board meeting

Nov. 5, 6:30 p.m. at McMurray Middle School, Multi-purpose room, 9329 Southwest Cemetery Road, Vashon

West Hill

West Hill Community Association Board meeting

Oct. 10, 7 p.m., Fire District #20, 12424 76th Ave S. in Seattle

West Hill Community Association Quarterly meeting

Oct. 16, 7 p.m., Skyway VFW Hall, 7421 S 126th St. in Seattle


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If you have comments or suggestions about future content, please contact Alan Painter at 206-296-8734 or alan.painter@kingcounty.gov.