Redmond Youth Court participants practice restorative justice 

By Troy Brown, Communication Manager, King County District Court 

Editor’s note: This article only uses first names to protect the privacy of minors.

Each time 16-year-old “Mary” (not her real name) steps behind the wheel, she likely will be a safer driver thanks to lessons she learned at her Redmond Youth Court hearing.

Redmond Youth Court is a student-led organization that works with King County District Court to hear real cases of traffic citations issued to 16- and 17-year olds by Redmond Police within the City of Redmond, offering them an alternative to the traditional justice system. The cases are handled by youth “attorneys,” a youth “judge” and a youth jury, making it the ultimate “jury of your peers” for teenagers.

At the Dec. 3 youth court hearing, Mary and the student judge, jury and attorneys practiced the principles of restorative justice in evaluating several traffic violations she committed one night this past summer. In place of up to $679 in fines, the youth court recommended an alternative that Mary acknowledged will make her be “more aware of the harm I can cause while driving, and to be more careful.”

***

On an August evening soon after dark, the Redmond Police stopped Mary for speeding and for not having her headlights on for one block. When the officer approached the car, he also noticed a cellphone in Mary’s lap, with a visible text message conversation on it.  Additionally, the two passengers in the car were both under 20, in violation of Mary’s intermediate Washington state driver’s license restrictions.

The officer let Mary off with a verbal warning for speeding and having her headlights off, but cited her for transporting under-age passengers.

Youth Court student judge Farah presided as the respondent’s advocate and two community advocates presented their cases. “’Mary is here today because she understands her error and wishes to make it right, so we propose 15 hours of community service” opened her advocate, Claire. In a tenacious rebuttal, community advocates Rio and Greg argued, “We must not turn a blind eye to the danger Mary put the community in, so we recommend 45 hours of community service.”

When all arguments were completed, the students, along with the community advocates’ witness, Redmond Police Officer Downing, participated in a restorative justice circle. Each person discussed what they learned from the case, and the harms that Mary could have caused to herself, her family, and the community, due to her driving errors. Similar to real jury deliberations, the students debated the pros and cons of imposing various amounts of community service hours, among other actions.

In the end, the Redmond Youth Court’s recommendation was for Mary to have her ticket dismissed, in light of her completing several actions:

  • 30 hours of community service
  • 250-word essay on what she learned about the importance of restrictions on teen driver’s licenses
  • One time serving as a youth court juror

King County District Court Judge Michael Finkle, who presides over the Redmond Youth Court, signed off on the proposed recommendations, which will be monitored by the Youth Court Team over the next six months.

In addition to benefitting teens with traffic citations and the community, Redmond Youth Court provides high school students with valuable real-world courtroom experience. “Youth court members learn decision making skills, compassion, how to work with others they do not go to school with, and a little about the law,” said Judge Finkle.

Learn more about Redmond Youth Court on King County District Court’s website.

Update on novel coronavirus 

On Friday, the federal government declared the new (novel) coronavirus a public health emergency in the U.S. and announced a series of restrictions on U.S. citizens and foreign nationals entering the U.S. after trips to China, which took effect Sunday at 2 p.m. PST. 

While government officials stress that the risk to the general U.S. public continues to be low at this time due to the small number of cases in the United States, the global situation continues to change rapidly. Public health officials here and around the world continue to be vigilant. 

Our Public Health employees are continuing to work closely with our partners to respond to this outbreak, including detection of the virus; identifying, isolating, and testing persons under investigation; and monitoring their close contacts. King County Executive Dow Constantine thanked Public Health staff for their efforts to respond to the virus.  

“Last week I had the opportunity to visit Public Health employees in the Health and Medical Area Command (HMAC) that we’ve set up here in the Chinook Building,” Executive Constantine said. “I am grateful for their dedication to the health and safety of everyone in our community, and appreciate their professionalism, expertise, and empathy during a challenging time.” 

There is still much unknown about the severity of novel coronavirus, yet for the vast majority of people the immediate health risk is low at this time. This situation could change, and the Centers of Disease Control (CDC), Washington State Department of Health, and Public Health are monitoring the situation closely. 

Public Health is also working to provide accurate information to the community to keep rumors and misinformation from spreading, and prevent possible stigmatization or discrimination based on ethnicity, nationality, or immigration status. You can find the latest information on the Public Health website and Public Health Insider blog, as well as at the CDC and the Washington state Department of Health 

Every one of us have an important role to play in helping to prevent colds, flu and other infections from spreading. Good health manners include:   

  • washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available 
  • avoiding touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands   
  • avoiding contact with people who are sick   
  • staying home while you are sick and avoid close contact with others   
  • covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands. 

This can be a stressful time for many in our community. It is normal to feel concern for not only family and friends here in King County, but also for people across the world. At times like this, it is important that we support one another, and also be aware that there are resources available if you would like to speak with a counselor. King County provides two free services to employees that offer professional support and advice: the Employee Assistance Program and Making Life Easier. Both resources are free and confidential. 

777X first flight lands at King County International Airport 

Crossposted from DES Express 

In a long-anticipated trip delayed two days by windy weather, Boeing’s new 777X took its first flight on Saturday, Jan. 25 from Paine Field in Everett. It landed about four hours later at King County International Airport (KCIA), after flight testing over Eastern Washington and a flight-to-flight photo session over Mount Rainier. The jet roared down the runway, leaving a trail of spray from the rain as it ended its journey. 

At least 40 media representatives – videographers, photographers and reporters – stood in a roped-off area near the control tower to record the end of the historic flight. 

Read more from DES Express

Focus on values: We lead the way

Dear employee,

“We lead the way” is an attitude that we bring to our work, and one of our eight Executive Branch values. Everything that we accomplish is due to your hard work and innovative thinking, and as an organization, we are creating a culture where you feel empowered to push for new and better ways of doing things.

As we focus on our “We lead the way” value this month, please take a moment to watch the “We lead the way” video. Your supervisor will make time to discuss what this value means for your team and how it applies to your work.

Thank you for leading the way in your work and inspiring all of us to do the same.

 

Sincerely,

Rachel Smith,
Deputy County Executive | Chief of Staff

View your W-2 form online 

Your 2019 W-2 form is now available in PeopleSoft to view and print. A paper copy of your W-2 form was mailed last week by ADP to the address you have listed in PeopleSoft. 

To view or print your W-2, log in to PeopleSoft from work, choose the Payroll tile, then go to “View W-2/W-2c Forms.” You can also access W-2 forms by registering at the ADP website. If you need help with PeopleSoft, call the KCIT Service Center at 206-263-4357. 

Your Form 1095-C—Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage—will also be sent to your home address by ADP. This form is informational only—it shows whether you were offered health insurance by King County last year. 

For questions about the information on your W-2, please see W-2 Form Guide or contact your payroll representative. If you have questions about Form 1095-C, please see About Form 1095-C or contact Benefits, Payroll and Retirement Operations at 206-684-1556 or KC.Benefits. 

New additions to the January – March 2020 mindfulness calendar  

Balanced You’s Jan. to March 2020 Mindfulness Calendar is now open for registration. Classes are filling quickly and new classes have just been added. On Feb. 13, “Meeting Mindfulness,” a six-hour workshop that teaches the origins of mindfulness and allows participants to practice the skill, will be held. On Feb18, “Mindful Eating,” a four-hour class that helps participants become wiser and more joyful in their approach to eating, will be offered to employees.  

Classes are free for King County employees. Visit the Balanced You blog for more information.  

Employees who open a new My Secure Advantage account will be entered to win $100 gift card 

My Secure Advantage (MSA) offers free money coaching and education, including tax advice, to King County employees. Employees who open a new MSA account and take the financial wellness survey before Feb. 14, will be entered by MSA into a drawing to win a $100 Amazon gift card.  

To hear more on how to save on taxes, join MSA’s webinar “Making Tax Returns Less Taxing” on Feb. 11 at 9 a.m. and noon. You can register for the webinar by opening an MSA account.   

Visit the Balanced You blog for more information. 

Woodland Park Zoo discounts available 

King County employees can now purchase discount zoo tickets online and avoid the ticket line at Woodland Park Zoo. Visit www.zoo.org, click the blue “Tickets” button on the top of the page, select “Buy” in the General Admission box, and enter Promo Code kc18 when prompted to receive a 20% discount. Purchased tickets can be printed at home or shown on a mobile device. 

See all available employee discounts at www.kingcounty.gov/employeediscounts. 

2020 Employee Survey coming soon   

The King County Employee Engagement Survey kicks off March 9 and is a great opportunity to hear from you about what is going well and where we need to improve.

Employees who participated in previous surveys have helped us make King County a better place to work, and a more effective service provider for our residents. This year we’re making some enhancements to make the survey work better for everyone:

  • Everyone will take the survey electronically
  • Data will be available four weeks sooner
  • There will be more time for action planning
  • Demographic questions will be more specific

For questions or more information contact KCEmployeeSurvey@kingcounty.gov.

Featured Job: Social Services Specialist – Certified Peer Support Specialist (Peer Bridger) 

Salary: $25.01 – $31.70 Hourly 

Location: WA 98188, WA 

Job Type: Career Service, Full Time, 40 hrs/week 

Department: DCHS – Community & Human Services 

Job Number: 2020AC11246 

Division: Behavioral Health and Recovery 

Closing: 2/9/2020 11:59 PM Pacific 

Learn more about this position or view all available positions.