Offer input on 2013 King County budget

September 25, 2012

Residents can comment on King County Executive Dow Constantine’s proposed 2013 budget next month at a series of meetings countywide.

The meetings, hosted by the King County Council budget team, start Oct. 3 in Courtroom 3F at the Maleng Regional Justice Center, 401 Fourth Ave. N., Kent.

The next meeting, and the closest event to Issaquah, is Oct. 10 in the City Council Chambers at Bellevue City Hall, 450 110th Ave. N.E.

The last meeting is Oct. 17 in the 10th floor King County Council Chambers at the King County Courthouse, 516 Third Ave., Seattle.

The meetings start at 6:30 p.m. Residents can watch coverage from the meetings the next day on King County TV, Comcast and Broadstripe Cable channel 22. The budget team also plans to post updates to Facebook and Twitter.

City Council approves Wave Broadband cable agreement

December 13, 2011

Wave Broadband is the cable provider for customers in many multifamily residences, City Council members decided Dec. 5.

The city needed to complete the routine action to transfer the cable franchise agreement from Broadstripe to Kirkland-based Wave Broadband.

The decision comes as Broadstripe dissolves. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January 2009. Wave Broadband started to purchase local Broadstripe assets in August.

Wave Broadband inherited the Broadstripe customers in multifamily complexes in the Issaquah Highlands and Providence Point, plus some single-family residences.

The major cable provider in the city, Comcast, long offered a broader lineup and more services than Broadstripe. Wave Broadband offers more services and a broader channel lineup than Broadstripe.

The council started the process to transition from Broadstripe to Wave Broadband last month.

Issaquah handles the franchise negotiation process through a citizen Cable TV Commission. Commissioners and Wave Broadband representatives then negotiated the 10-year agreement.

Council Utilities, Technology & Environment Committee members discussed the proposal Nov. 8 and sent the agreement to complete council for approval.

Wave Broadband acquires Broadstripe, cable service changes for local customers

November 29, 2011

The cable provider Broadstripe is out and Wave Broadband is in for some Issaquah customers.

Broadstripe filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January 2009. Kirkland-based Wave Broadband started the process to purchase local Broadstripe assets in August, and received a green light from the City Council to proceed Nov. 7.

Wave Broadband intends to invest $15 million in broadband systems in the Northwest to upgrade offerings and service for former Broadstripe customers.

The changeover could end a long disparity in cable service for Issaquah residents. The major cable provider in the city, Comcast, long offered a broader lineup and more services than rival Broadstripe.

“Hopefully, if Wave is true to form, customers will see an improvement in offerings and cable lineups,” city TV Coordinator Tim Smith said.

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County to host budget forum at Pacific Cascade Middle School

September 27, 2011

Citizens can offer input on King County’s 2012 budget next month at a local forum.

County Councilwoman Julia Patterson, leader of the council’s Budget Leadership Team, announced Pacific Cascade Middle School and other sites as locations for budget discussions. The budget team is seeking input on County Executive Dow Constantine’s proposed 2012 budget.

Issaquah’s representative, Councilwoman Kathy Lambert, and Councilwoman Jane Hague and Councilman Joe McDermott also serve on the budget team.

“These public hearings are an opportunity for the residents of King County to make their voices heard on the issues that matter most to them,” Patterson said in a statement.

The budget team is scheduled to collect input from citizens at a series of meetings:

  • 6:30 p.m. Oct. 13 — Pacific Cascade Middle School, 24635 S.E. Issaquah-Fall City Road
  • 6:30 p.m. Oct. 19 — Maleng Regional Justice Center, Courtroom 3F, 401 Fourth Ave. N., Kent
  • 6:30 p.m. Oct. 25 — King County Courthouse, County Council Chambers, 10th Floor, 516 Third Ave., Seattle

The county plans to offer coverage of the meetings on King County TV, channel 22 on Broadstripe and Comcast.

DIY Network crashes Issaquah homeowners’ master bathroom

July 12, 2011

$70,000 upgrade transforms space into spa-inspired destination

The master bathroom in Jeremy and Carrie Paget’s South Cove home resembled a time capsule from 1981, the year the house was built — colorless tile, a slim skylight and oak cabinets accented in brass.

Factor in a leaky shower and a dearth of space, too, and the need for a floor-to-ceiling overhaul became apparent.

“We didn’t really use this room other than just to get ready and use the sink to brush our teeth, things like that,” Jeremy Paget said.

Reclaimed teak is a prominent feature in the renovated bathroom at Jeremy and Carrie Paget’s home after a ‘Bath Crashers’ makeover. By Greg Farrar

Now, after some persistence and TV magic, the blah bathroom is a destination. DIY Network’s “Bath Crashers” transformed the space. The episode featuring the Pagets debuted July 4.

The remade space includes a spacious shower outfitted with a pebble-tile floor, a deluxe bathtub and larger skylight to drench the bathroom in natural light. The upgraded bathroom also includes more electrical outlets than the 1981 original.

The reclaimed teak flooring and surround-sound system lend the space a feel more commonly found in a spa than a suburban bathroom. The estimated cost for the renovation: $70,000 in donated materials and labor.

Crews used some attic space above the garage and space from a closet to expand the bathroom. The team enlisted the homeowners to help install tile and flooring.

“They came through,” Paget said. “They made some really cool changes.”

The homeowners listed ideas for “Bath Crashers” host Matt Muenster, a contractor, and a crew descended on the house in March.

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Customers lose cable service after crew clips line

June 21, 2011

Crews responded to a cable outage impacting customers in Issaquah and elsewhere June 13.

The cut to the cable provider’s fiber optic line occurred at about 2:45 p.m. and also affected customers in Sammamish, Duvall, Echo Lake and Redmond. Broadstripe dispatched a repair crew to the site minutes later.

The company restored service to affected customers by 1 a.m. June 14.

The damage to the fiber optic cable came after a King County lawn crew working along a road in Duvall accidentally clipped it.

John Bjorn, executive vice president for Broadstripe’s Northwest Region, said such accidental cuts happen infrequently.

“Anytime they happen, however, they represent a major inconvenience for our customers,” he said in a news release. “We are sorry that our customers were inconvenienced yesterday.”

Broadstripe responds to Eastside cable outage

June 14, 2011

NEW — 12:30 p.m. June 14, 2011

Crews responded to a cable outage impacting customers in Issaquah and elsewhere Monday afternoon.

The cut to the cable provider’s fiber optic line occurred at about 2:45 p.m. and affected customers in Sammamish, Duvall, Echo Lake and Redmond. Broadstripe dispatched a repair crew to the site minutes later.

The company restored service to affected customers by 1 a.m. Tuesday.

The damage to fiber optic cable came after a King County lawn crew working along a road in Duvall accidentally clipped the line.

John Bjorn, executive vice president for Broadstripe’s Northwest Region, said such accidental cuts happen infrequently.

“Anytime they happen however, they represent a major inconvenience for our customers,” he said in a news release. “We are sorry that our customers were inconvenienced yesterday.”

City Council candidates offer varied skills for post

February 15, 2011

Interviews start March 1 for nine council contenders

Candidates offer assorted skills for the open City Council seat created after Maureen McCarry resigned in late December.

The candidates bring backgrounds in community, military and municipal service to the interview process.

The midterm opening for the Position 5 seat attracted nine candidates.

Candidates face the council in public interviews scheduled for March 1. Then, after the 10-minute interviews, council members could recess into a closed-door executive session to discuss candidates’ qualifications.

Under state law, the council can discuss candidates’ qualifications in a closed-door session, but interviews and the decision must occur in public meetings.

The vote to appoint a member to the council is scheduled for March 7, though the appointee might not join the council until later in the month. The salary for council members is $700 per month.

McCarry created the vacancy late last year after she resigned to fight amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease.

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City invites Broadstripe customers to hearing

November 2, 2010

Officials plan to update the agreement between the city and cable provider Broadstripe in the months ahead, and city leaders plan to gather input next week from Broadstripe customers.

“We want to hear from the citizens — the people that are being served by Broadstripe — and hear what their concerns are regarding customer service, quality of signal, those types of things,” city TV Coordinator Tim Smith said.

Many customers claim Broadstripe services do not compare to Comcast in response to outages, video-on-demand services and other offerings, Smith added.

Council Utilities, Technology & Environment Committee members planned a Nov. 9 hearing to listen to Broadstripe customers’ concerns. The cable provider serves mostly multifamily residences in the Issaquah Highlands, Providence Pointe and the Kelkari condominiums near downtown Issaquah.

The committee serves as the liaison between the full City Council and the city Cable TV Commission. The commission advises the council on telecommunications issues.

The negotiations could be complicated because Dallas-based Broadstripe is in the midst of a reorganization after the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in early 2009.

The proposal is the latest cable agreement to reach city leaders.

The council members OK’d a revised Comcast agreement in September. Comcast is the predominant cable provider in Issaquah.

The pact prompted grumbling from council members, because the agreement allowed the cable provider to raise prices and removed many of the provisions the city had in place to maintain some of the best cable prices in the state.

Get involved

Council Utilities, Technology & Environment Committee

  • Agenda: Broadstripe public hearing
  • 5:30 p.m. Nov. 9
  • Baxter Room
  • City Hall Northwest
  • 1775 12th Avenue N.W.

Warren Kagarise: 392-6434, ext. 234, or wkagarise@isspress.com. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.

Cable prices could rise soon

May 25, 2010

The price for Comcast service could rise for some Issaquah cable customers in the months ahead, though the amount will remain undetermined until the city and the cable provider finalize a pact.

Officials should complete the agreement within several months, and end the long process to update the agreement between the city and the predominate cable provider in Issaquah.

Joe Forkner, a city Cable TV Commission member and a former Issaquah councilman, said Comcast had agreed not to immediately raise prices.

“They have agreed that they are not just going to jack up the rates arbitrarily, but they’ll work them up slowly,” he said.

Members of the City Council Utilities, Technology & Environment Committee discussed the legislation May 11. The committee delayed possible action on the agreement until July.

The full council could approve the agreement at any time, but will likely not act without a recommendation from the committee.

Until the council OKs the latest agreement, Comcast must abide by the terms set in the former pact.

Comcast spokesman Walter Neary said he could not discuss details of the proposed agreement, because the negotiations continue to unfold, but he said he hoped the city and Comcast could a reach a beneficial agreement.

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