Salmon Days nets state festival honors

April 10, 2012

The iconic Salmon Days Festival continues to spawn awards.

The annual event earned seven awards March 27 in a state ranking of top festivals.

Read more

City Council delays decision on plastic bag ban

April 10, 2012

The decision to outlaw plastic bags at Issaquah businesses is on hold, City Council members decided April 2 after listening to appeals from environmentalists concerned about Puget Sound pollution and plastics manufacturers anxious about lost livelihoods.

The proposed plastic bag ban at local retailers is meant to limit garbage headed for the King County landfill and reduce marine pollution.

The measure stalled after speakers questioned the scope, timing and lack of input from the businesses affected by such a change. The council opted in a 6-1 decision to postpone further discussions on the plastic bag ban to a still-unscheduled meeting in May.

“It bothers me that in this last week that we were still turning over stones,” Councilwoman Stacy Goodman said before the meeting.

Read more

State urges vaccinations amid whooping cough epidemic

April 10, 2012

State health officials said whooping cough cases have reached epidemic proportions throughout Washington, and they urged residents April 3 to get vaccinated against the highly contagious disease.

The state Department of Health recorded 640 cases in 23 counties through March 31 — the highest number of reported cases in decades. King County experienced 88 cases through March 31.

Officials recorded 94 whooping cough, or pertussis, cases statewide during the same period last year.

Read more

Local Democrats prepare for caucuses, opportunity to shape party priorities

April 10, 2012

Caucusgoers could change state and, perhaps, national policies as Washington Democrats gather for caucuses April 15.

President Barack Obama is the standard bearer for the Democrats in November, but although the party is not in the midst of a nomination fight, caucusgoers can still influence local, state and national issues by shaping the Democratic Party platform. Caucusgoers can present resolutions on political issues for consideration at local, state and national party gatherings.

Read more

Issaquah senator sponsors bill to reform Medicaid, recover dollars

April 10, 2012

Lawmakers — including local state Sen. Cheryl Pflug — passed legislation to crack down on Medicaid fraud and recover taxpayer funds.

The measure, Senate Bill 5978 or the Medicaid Fraud False Claims Act, aims to create additional tools for the state to pursue Medicaid fraud. Supporters said the effort could raise millions of dollars in fraud recoveries in the years ahead. The legislation is modeled on a longstanding federal program.

The measure relies on whistleblower tips to learn about fraud from health care companies out to defraud the state Medicaid system.

Gov. Chris Gregoire signed the bill into law March 30.

Read more

King County Council appoints Steve Strachan as sheriff

April 10, 2012

The top law enforcement officer in King County is Steve Strachan, the former top deputy at the King County Sheriff’s Office.

King County Council members appointed Strachan to succeed former Sheriff Sue Rahr on April 2, days after Rahr resigned to lead the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission. The sheriff oversees about 1,000 employees and a $138 million budget.

Under the King County Charter, the council is responsible for appointing a sheriff who will run the department until the vacancy is filled during the next general election in November. Strachan, a former state legislator and city councilman in Minnesota, is expected to run for the post.

Strachan joined the sheriff’s office as chief deputy in January 2011 after serving as police chief in Kent. Before joining the Kent Police Department, he served as police chief in Lakeville, Minn.

In 1996, voters in Farmington, Minn., elected Strachan as a city councilman. Then, in 2002, voters elected him to the Minnesota House of Representatives.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recognizes local health advocates

April 10, 2012

King County earned some recognition from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for public health efforts related to obesity prevention and tobacco use.

The 18 local honorees included Issaquah resident Christopher “Kit” Ledbetter, municipal parks and recreation director in SeaTac. Ledbetter earned recognition from the CDC as a champion for tobacco-free parks in the South King County city. The effort brings together teenagers, law enforcement officers, maintenance crews and other partners.

King County Executive Dow Constantine, a leader in environmental protection, public transit and government reform, also earned recognition from the CDC.

The recognition based on nominations from peers is part of Communities Putting Prevention to Work — a CDC initiative to bring together community organizations, local governments, schools districts and public health agencies in addressing the leading causes of preventable death.

King County offers landfill tours for Earth Day celebration

April 10, 2012

See the destination for most King County garbage up close.

The county is opening the Cedar Hills Regional Landfill between Issaquah and Maple Valley for free tours April 21.

Cedar Hills, the last operating landfill in the county, encompasses 920 acres and accepts about 800,000 tons of garbage each year from across King County, excluding Seattle and Milton.

The tour is designed for adults. Call 206-296-4490 to organize tours for school-aged children and school groups.

The tours start at 9 and 11 a.m. and last about one hour. The tours require reservations. Reserve a spot by April 16 by calling 206-296-4490, TTY Relay: 711.

Parking is provided at the landfill, 16645 228th Ave S.E., and participants board a Metro Transit bus for the guided tour. The bus is wheelchair accessible.

For safety, tour participants must wear closed-toe footwear and adhere to all traffic signs at the landfill.

Governor appoints former Issaquah school member to state school board

April 10, 2012

Though she was defeated in voting for Western Position 3, former Issaquah School Board member Connie Fletcher will retain a seat on the Washington State Board of Education thanks to Gov. Chris Gregoire.

While appointments need legislative approval, Gregoire directly names seven members of the 16-member board.

Fletcher first began serving on the state board in 2009. Her seat expired in December and she lost a bid for re-election to Mukilteo’s Kevin Laverty.

In total, five members of the state board are elected by public school board members from Washington.

Read more

Commission to consider Issaquah Highlands retail plan

April 10, 2012

Residents can offer input soon on the latest plan to build a retail complex in the Issaquah Highlands.

The plan for the proposed Grand Ridge Plaza, a highlands retail center, is scheduled to go before the Urban Village Development Commission April 17 and May 1. (The commission oversees large-scale development in the highlands and Talus.)

The proposal is the latest in a long-running effort to add more retail offerings to the hillside neighborhood.

The commission is due to consider the Grand Ridge Plaza site development permit April 17. Then, commissioners plan to hold a public hearing on the permit May 1.

The commission meets in the Council Chambers at City Hall South, 135 E. Sunset Way, at 7 p.m.

The developer, Florida-based Regency Centers, intends to transform 14 acres into shops, restaurants and parking areas. The proposal also includes a cinema and a grocery store, although the city approved both projects in separate actions.

« Previous PageNext Page »