News around the valley: Athletic center construction, Highway 18 death, candidate forum

Wildfire smoke kills hundreds of WA residents

A recent report by the University of Washington estimates that more than 200 people were killed by wildfire smoke statewide this year.

The study found that every week with high levels of smoke causes about 120 excess deaths. The historic wildfires of August and September along the West Coast made the air of many U.S. cities the dirtiest in the world, including in Puget Sound.

Wildfires generate small particles, which are inhaled deeply into the lungs. These fine particles are associated with increases in deaths due to heart and lung disease. This is also consistent with reports of increased hospital emergency room visits at Harborview Medical Center for respiratory issues during the fires.

The fires also came amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and likely made symptoms worse for those suffering from the disease.

As the climate continues to warm, large wildfires are expected to continue across the West Coast.

Hwy 18 death

A motorcycle crash on Oct. 2 along Highway 18 killed one person. Eastside Fire and Rescue, Snoqualmie Fire and Bellevue Fire Department crews responded to a motorcycle crash near mile post 24 at around 7:38 p.m. A patient was initially treated and transported to Overlake Hospital. But shortly after departing the scene the patient’s condition declined and the transport was rerouted to Harborview Medical Center, where the patient later died.

Mule Pasture review

The King County Utilities and Technical Review Commission will be reviewing issues surrounding the Mule Pasture development on Oct. 21 at 2:30 p.m. More information will be available on the UTRC website soon.

Solar and efficiency grants

The Washington state Department of Commerce has announced details about the next round of funding for the Energy Efficiency Grant. An estimated $3.57 million will be available for grantees with up to $500,000 available to each applicant.

The application period will open in November with applications due in January.

COVID-19 spreading

The Washington state Risk Assessment Dashboard indicates a slight rise in coronavirus spread. In Western Washington the reproductive number is at 1.3. Figures greater than 1 indicate an accelerated spread. Mask wearing, physical distancing and limiting gatherings remain critical to avoiding a fall surge.

Candidate forum

The SnoValley Chamber of Commerce will be holding a virtual candidate forum moderated by Dr. Robert Manahan, Superintendent of the Snoqualmie Valley School District.

Candidates include House District 5, Position 1 candidates Bill Ramos (D) and Ken Moninski (R).

Lisa Callan (D) is running unopposed for the Position 2 House seat and will attend.

In the District 5 Senate race, incumbent Mark Mullet (D) will attend with challenger Ingrid Anderson (D).

Advanced registration is available at SnoValley’s website. The event will be held on Oct. 22 from 6 to 8 p.m.