King County Elections: Ballot returns outpace projections

August 7, 2010

NEW — 8 a.m. Aug. 7, 2010

King County Elections has received more than 100,000 ballots since July 28 — outpacing projections for the first days of all-mail voting for the Aug. 17 primary.

“It’s really helpful that voters are getting their ballots mailed back to us early,” Elections Director Sherril Huff said in a news release. “The top two reasons some ballots never get counted are due to being mailed back to us too late or the voter forgetting to sign the oath on the back of the return envelope.”

Huff has predicted about 45 percent of the 1.1 million King County voters will cast a ballot in the primary.

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Bring ideas for Issaquah Creek-side parks to Aug. 26 picnic

August 7, 2010

NEW — 6 a.m. Aug. 7, 2010

Head outside, grab a hot dog and offer ideas about the latest addition to the city parks system.

The city Parks & Recreation Department will host a picnic Aug. 26 for residents to share ideas about the downtown parks at the confluence of Issaquah Creek and the East Fork: Tollë Anderson, Cybil-Madeline and Issaquah Creek parks.

Gather at 595 Rainier Blvd. N. for the 5 p.m. picnic. The program — held on land set aside for the parks complex — starts at 6 p.m.

The city plans to spend up to $1.6 million to complete the plan and build the initial phase. Issaquah voters approved money to develop the parks in a 2006 bond.

Issaquah Parks & Recreation officials picked Seattle landscape architecture firm The Berger Partnership in late May. The firm also designed Cal Anderson Park and Warren G. Magnuson Park in Seattle.

Guy Michaelsen, principal at The Berger Partnership, outlined some initial ideas for the park during a June presentation to the City Council.

Swedish marks construction milestone in the highlands

August 6, 2010

Jay Hagel, a hook-on ironworker with Local 86, adds a signature to the final structural steel beam during the topping-off ceremony for Swedish Medical Center's Issaquah Highlands campus. By Greg Farrar

NEW — 3:25 p.m. Aug. 6, 2010

Crews completed a construction milestone at the Swedish Medical Center campus in the Issaquah Highlands on Friday, as a crane hoisted the last steel beam into place.

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City received 50 applications for next administrator

August 6, 2010

NEW — 12:45 p.m. Aug. 6, 2010

City leaders announced details Friday about the search to hire the next Issaquah city administrator.

Prothman — the Bellevue consultant conducting the search — received 50 applicants from candidates in 11 states. The firm then narrowed the list to the 27 people qualified for the position.

Choosing the next administrator falls to Mayor Ava Frisinger. She plans to cut the list to six or seven finalists.

The finalists will then be invited to a community meeting at 5 p.m. Sept. 7 at Tibbetts Creek Manor, 750 17th Ave. N.W.

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Donate backpacks, other school supplies to food bank

August 6, 2010

NEW — 8 a.m. Aug. 6, 2010

Help Issaquah Food and Clothing Bank clients get prepared to go back to school.

The food bank needs backpacks and school supplies for families unable to afford them. School begins in the Issaquah School District on Aug. 31.

A backpack filled with required supplies costs nearly $50 per student. The cost is even more for high school students who also need geometry sets and calculators.

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Celebrate Farmers Market Week at Issaquah market

August 6, 2010

NEW — 6 a.m. Aug. 6, 2010

Celebrate Farmers Market Week at the Issaquah Farmers Market on Saturday.

The market has planned several events to celebrating, including a cooking demonstration from Era Living Executive Chef Elon Wagoner from 10 a.m. – noon and a performance from the Firehouse Fiddlers from 10:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.

The market runs from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. at Pickering Barn, 1730 10th Ave. N.W. Besides the cooking demo and musical performance, browse farm-fresh fruits and vegetables, flowers, handmade crafts and food vendors.

King County farmers markets provide sales opportunities for more than 250 family farms across the Evergreen State, including more than 100 farmers from King County.

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Local ‘Judge Judy’ suspended for ‘rude’ behavior

August 5, 2010

UPDATED — 4:10 p.m. Aug. 5, 2010

The state Supreme Court has suspended Judge Judith Eiler — the brusque King County District Court judge who has drawn comparisons to TV’s “Judge Judy” — from the bench without pay for rude behavior.

In a decision issued Thursday morning, Supreme Court justices ordered Eiler to be suspended for five days without pay. Several of the incidents occurred during her stint at district court’s Issaquah Courthouse.

“Several litigants — and even some attorneys — reported being ‘embarrassed’ by Judge Eiler’s ‘degrading’ treatment, and feeling ‘mocked,’ ‘attacked’ and ‘uncomfortable’ in her courtroom,” the opinion states.

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Issaquah musician Dan Connolly launches concert series

August 5, 2010

NEW — 8 a.m. Aug. 5, 2010

Mellow Issaquah musician Dan Connolly headlines a concert series at a Redmond theater, starting at 8 p.m. Saturday.

For the sets at SecondStory Repertory at Redmond Town Center, the Navy-diver-turned-musician plans to draw from a growing catalog he has sharpened during regular performances at Zeeks Pizza in the Issaquah Highlands.

Connolly has been described as a Celtic-infused amalgam of Jack Johnson, John Mayer and Dave Matthews.

For the Redmond performance, Connolly will deliver a primarily acoustic set, but he also has a high-tech trick up his sleeve.

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King County Elections tests counting equipment as primary nears

August 5, 2010

NEW — 6 a.m. Aug. 5, 2010

King County Elections plans to test ballot counting and processing equipment as the Aug. 17 primary nears.

Staffers scheduled logic and accuracy tests on all ballot counting and processing equipment for 10 a.m. Thursday at the elections office, 9010 E. Marginal Way S., Tukwila.

The office performs the standard pre-election procedure to make sure tabulation hardware and software function properly. Then, after the test, the equipment will be locked and sealed until the election.

People can register in-person at the elections office in Tukwila by 4:30 p.m. Monday. Learn more about the registration process here.

King County Elections Director Sherril Huff offered some last-minute tips to voters in a video posted to the elections website Tuesday.

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Local contestant earns Miss Plus America crown

August 4, 2010

NEW — 3:05 p.m. Aug. 4, 2010

Here she is: Renton resident Latasha Haskins has earned the Miss Plus America crown.

Latasha Haskins

The single mother bested 41 other contestants in the quest for the title. Haskins, 29, picked up the crown last month at the national pageant for plus-size women.

Judges rated contestants based on fashion — pant-wear and evening gown — and a final interview.

“Bottom line, I was ready and I made up my mind that this year either way I would walk away content because I knew I did my part!” Haskins said in a Q&A posted on the pageant website.

Haskins competed in the 2008 and 2009 Miss Plus America contests as well.

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