King County garbage disposal fee hike starts Jan. 1

December 21, 2012

NEW — 10 a.m. Dec. 21, 2012

Residents can expect to pay more for garage pick-up, and to dump garbage at transfer stations and drop boxes, after Jan. 1, as King County seeks to modernize the aging solid waste system.

The average residential customer putting out a single container of garbage for curbside collection per week is likely pay about 57 cents per month more as garbage haulers cover the disposal fees.

Haulers, such as CleanScapes and Allied Waste, pass along the rate increase to customers.

The fee for bringing solid waste to a transfer station or drop box is poised to increase from $117.42 to $129.40 per ton, including tax and a moderate risk waste fee. The minimum fee is due to increase from $20 to $22, including tax and the fee.

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Governor asks for moment of silence to remember Connecticut victims

December 20, 2012

NEW — 8 a.m. Dec. 20, 2012

Gov. Chris Gregoire asked Washingtonians to observe a moment of silence at 9:30 a.m. Friday to remember the people killed in the massacre at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school.

Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy issued a proclamation declaring Friday as a day of mourning throughout Connecticut. In solidarity with the people of Connecticut, and recognizing the deaths of 20 children and six educators as a national tragedy, Gregoire responded to the request and asked residents to spend a moment in quiet reflection.

“We are all heartbroken by this senseless violence,” Gregoire said in a statement. “Mike and I often think of those parents who will never again hug their first-graders. The courageous acts of the staff at Sandy Hook were truly selfless and heroic. The people of Newtown will long be in our prayers.”

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Let’s Go! for Dec. 20-26

December 19, 2012

Cold Case Unit’s end could leave boy’s disappearance unsolved

December 18, 2012

Funding trouble leads sheriff’s office to disband program

David Adams

In May 1968, 8-year-old David Adams disappeared from Tiger Mountain as he walked home for dinner.

Searchers combed Issaquah and the surrounding area in the days ahead, as the mystery attracted attention from throughout the Pacific Northwest. The search brought as many as 1,000 people to Issaquah, but detectives and volunteers found no signs of David.

The case file sat on a shelf at the King County Sheriff’s Office for 41 years until early 2009, after the agency received a federal grant and launched a renewed push to solve several cold cases.

Despite successes in solving other years-old cases, grant funding is gone and county dollars to continue the program from September to December since evaporated.

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Walmart invites Issaquah students to ‘Shop with a Cop’

December 18, 2012

First grader Cyrus Comia, 7, one of 10 Issaquah Valley Elementary School students on the ‘Shop with a Cop’ outing, takes toys to a cart as Issaquah Police Sgt. Jeff Johnson helps keep him on his gift-card budget. Comia also bought some socks for his grandmother. By Greg Farrar

In what was a scene straight out of a schoolyard ballfield, 10 officers from the Issaquah and Bellevue police departments stood in a line just waiting to get picked.

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Student dies on Skyline High School campus

December 18, 2012

Skyline High School students and a Sammamish family are mourning the loss of a 16-year-old student who committed suicide on the school campus Dec. 13.

Sammamish Police Administrative Sgt. Jessica Sullivan said dispatchers got a call from the teen at about 9:30 p.m. The teen told police he was in the lower student parking lot and intended to kill himself. Police arrived six minutes later and found him dead just outside of his vehicle from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Sullivan said the teen was alone at the time.

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Issaquah School Board preserves Liberty High School’s block schedule

December 18, 2012

Steve Rasmussen

A celebratory cry gushed from the audience Dec. 12 as the Issaquah School Board voted 4-1 to preserve the eight-period block schedule at Liberty High School.

“The data to support a six-period day has always seemed to me to be weak,” board member Chad Magendanz said. “At this point, I think it is premature to make a change without a compelling case driving it.”

Since 1995, Liberty has used an eight-period block schedule where students take four 90-minute classes each day. Many in the school’s community like that eight periods give students more chances to explore electives. This, supporters of the block schedule say, cultivates creativity, innovation and a commitment to learning.

“I think we have something at Liberty, that is evidenced by the groundswell of feedback from the community, that says this is very valuable to us,” board President Brian Deagle said. “I don’t know how to measure it. We haven’t been measuring it, yet it’s been proposed that we get rid of it.”

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Community offers support for Lake Sammamish State Park booster group

December 18, 2012

State officials laid the groundwork Dec. 10 for a community organization to support Lake Sammamish State Park as residents met to consider lifelines for the cash-strapped park.

Issaquah and the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission listened to ideas for the facility from about 50 attendees at a Tibbetts Creek Manor open house, and received information from about 25 attendees interested in participating in a community organization to support the park.

The event, hosted by the city and state parks agency, launched a discussion about future ventures at Lake Sammamish State Park and what residents hope to see on the park’s 512 acres.

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Liberty Patriots gymnastics team defeats Bellevue Wolverines

December 18, 2012

Tia Riley, Liberty High School senior, poses on the balance beam, earning a score of 7.8 Dec. 13 against Bellevue. By Christina Corrales-Toy

It is easy to spot the Liberty High School gymnastics team among a crowded gymnasium filled with fans, coaches and other competitors.

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Unincorporated King County residents avoid $20 roads fee

December 18, 2012

Residents in unincorporated King County — including Klahanie, Mirrormont and Preston in the Issaquah area and more than 200,000 people countywide — no longer face a $20 vehicle-license fee to fund road maintenance.

King County Council members dropped the proposed fee from the 2013 county budget, and approved the spending plan Nov. 13 in a unanimous decision. Instead, officials plan to lobby the state government for additional road dollars — a challenge as the state faces another budget shortfall next year.

In September, King County Executive Dow Constantine proposed a $20 fee to fund road maintenance and storm response in rural and unincorporated areas.

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