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Best Starts for Kids
By The Skanner News
Published: 22 September 2016

Alzheimer’s Association Offers Men’s Coffee Group

Alzheimer’s Association men’s coffee groups provide a place for male caregivers to learn, share and gain emotional support from other male spouses who are also on a unique journey of providing care to a person with memory loss. A free support group for male spouses of individuals with memory loss is held the 3rd Thursday of the month, from 10:00 – 11:30 am, at the Alzheimer’s Association Chapter Office, 100 W Harrison St, North Tower, #N200 in Seattle. For information call Don Desonier at (206) 779-1634.


SOCR Launches LGBTQ Visibility Project

As part of the Mayor’s LGBTQ Action Plan, the Seattle Office for Civil Rights has created a project to bring visibility to Seattle’s diverse LGBTQ community members. The project includes community members who represent a variety of LGBTQ identities in Seattle, with an emphasis on intersectionality and trans and queer people of color. We want to lift up members of the community, while emphasizing the role of the Seattle Office for Civil Rights in upholding antidiscrimination laws and promoting race and gender justice.

The images and messages centered in these ads demonstrate empowerment, strength and love. We wish to celebrate and honor the qualities that comprise Seattle’s LGBTQ community. The ads will be featured on buses and light rail throughout the city for three months.

For more information about the project, visit http://www.seattle.gov/gender-justice-project/what-we-do/lgbtq-visibility-campaign.


County Council Approves “Transformative” Implementation Plan for Best Starts for Kids

Last year, voters approved funding for a regional plan aimed at supporting the healthy development of children and youth, families and communities across the county. The Metropolitan King County Council today unanimously approved the plan for funding the programs that will be part of the Best Starts for Kids (BSK) initiative.

Kohl-Welles—who was joined on the Council’s BSK Leadership Team by Council Vice Chair Rod Dembowski and Councilmembers Kathy Lambert and Larry Gossett—worked with all members of the Council in reviewing the proposed plan transmitted by the King County Executive.

Approved by voters in 2015, Best Start for Kids supports the healthy development of children and youth, families and communities across the county. Included by the Council in the levy ordinance that sent BSK to the voters was language directing the County Executive to present a plan to the Council defining funding strategies and outcomes for programs that receive funding from Best Starts for Kids.

The plan was presented to the Council this summer and review of the plan was directed by the BSK Leadership Team. In reviewing the proposed implementation plan, the Council strengthened the plan by:

  • Adding statements of intent by the County to foster and support the participation of organizations and community members from communities facing challenges across King County; and
  • Adding clarity on the way the Communities of Opportunity (COO) will deliver on a vision to reduce disparities and improve the ability of all communities to perform well on health and well-being indicators. Communities of Opportunity is a program strategy based on the latest research regarding the impact of place on individual and population health and well-being outcomes; it builds on a partnership between King County and The Seattle Foundation and supports local communities in building their own capacity to create positive change.

This spring, the Council approved an Implementation Plan for the $19 million Youth and Family Homelessness Prevention Initiative, the first major program created as part of Best Starts for Kids. The Best Starts for Kids Implementation Plan approved today puts forward a framework for spending approximately $379 million, the remainder of the estimated collections over the life of the levy.

The Implementation Plan is targeted to achieve three key results across the strategy areas that were set forth in the Best Starts for Kids levy ordinance:

  • Babies are born healthy and are provided with a strong foundation for lifelong health and wellbeing.
  • King County is a place where everyone has equitable opportunities to be safe and healthy as they progress through childhood, building academic and life skills to be thriving members of their communities.
  • Communities offer safe, welcoming and healthy environments that help improve outcomes for all of King County’s children and families, regardless of where they live.


DNR Lifting Burn Ban West of the Cascades

With continued fall weather conditions west of the Cascades, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is lifting the ban on outdoor burning on DNR-protected lands in western Washington, effective 12:01 a.m., Sept. 20.

The burn ban east of the Cascades has been eased in order to allow campfires in campfire pits in designated campgrounds only.

There are exceptions. Due to continued high fire danger, campfires may not be allowed in some locations in northeast Washington.

Check before having a campfire

County burn bans may still be in effect in various locations throughout Washington, and residents should check with local fire districts for information. If campers and visitors are unsure about whether a campground is on DNR-protected land, they should check with local park authorities. Also, check with them on any campfire restrictions that may be in place.

Those choosing to have a campfire in allowed areas should:

• Use an approved or provided fire pit only; don’t create a new one.
• Keep the campfire small.
• Keep plenty of water and a shovel nearby.
• Never leave the campfire unattended.
• To extinguish a campfire: drown with water, mix ashes, scrape partially-burned sticks and logs, and alternate drowning and mixing until cold. A campfire too hot to touch, is too hot to leave.

Fireworks and incendiary devices, such as exploding targets, sky lanterns, or tracer ammunition remain illegal on all DNR-protected lands.

Those who negligently allow fire to spread or who knowingly place forestlands in danger of destruction or damage are subject to possible civil liabilities and criminal penalties under state law. DNR, as well as anyone harmed by such a fire, may pursue damages that include loss of property and fire suppression costs.

The burn ban east of the Cascades will run through September 30, 2016 and applies to all lands under DNR fire protection east of the Cascade Mountains, which does not include federally owned lands.

For current information on burn restrictions, call 1-800-323-BURN or visit DNR’s webpage showing fire danger and burning restrictions by county: http://www.dnr.wa.gov/OutdoorBurning. For a description of activities prohibited by the burn ban, go to www.dnr.wa.gov/burn-bans.

For a copy of the Commissioner’s Order, go to http://www.dnr.wa.gov/burn-bans.


For more Seattle and Portland area events, see the Community Calendar.

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