King County task force says new schools should go in urban, not rural, areas

April 11, 2012

NEW — 5:15 p.m. April 11, 2012

A 30-member task force unanimously agreed to recommend that new school sitings in King County be done in urban areas and rural towns, not in areas designated as rural.

King County officials announced the decision Wednesday afternoon.

“These are thoughtful recommendations that will help deliver educational excellence for our children without sacrificing the environment of our rural areas,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine in a press release.

According to the county, the School Siting Task Force evaluated an inventory of 18 rural properties owned by eight school districts in King County. The county lists one such property owned by the Issaquah School District along Southeast May Valley Road. County information does not provide an exact address.

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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.

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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.

King County offers landfill tours for Earth Day celebration

April 9, 2012

NEW — 5 p.m. April 9, 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 tour requires 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.

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City Council delays decision on Issaquah plastic bag ban

April 2, 2012

NEW — 9:03 p.m. April 2, 2012

The decision to outlaw plastic bags at Issaquah businesses is on hold, City Council members decided Monday after a contentious discussion and 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 proposal’s scope and timing. The council opted in a 6-1 decision to postpone further discussions on the plastic bag ban to a still-unscheduled meeting.

The plastic bag ban proponent, Issaquah Highlands entrepreneur and Councilman Mark Mullet, said the legislation offers Issaquah a chance to reduce the estimated 10 million plastic bags the city sends to the King County landfill each year.

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Issaquah Chamber of Commerce is neutral on proposed plastic bag ban

March 29, 2012

NEW — 10:30 a.m. March 29, 2012

Issaquah Chamber of Commerce leaders decided to remain neutral as the City Council considers legislation to outlaw plastic bags, but entrepreneurs raised concerns about possible impacts on local businesses due to such a ban.

Matthew Bott

The council is considering legislation to ban plastic bags for most retail uses and require stores to collect 5 cents for each paper bag provided to customers. The fee is meant to help retailers offset the cost.

The proposed ordinance reaches the council for discussion and a possible decision April 2. If enacted, the legislation calls for the ban to start in 2013.

In a letter to council members, chamber CEO Matthew Bott outlined the organization’s position and asked leaders to consider unintended effects.

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City Council to decide plastic bag ban soon

March 27, 2012

The proposal to ban plastic bags from Issaquah stores reaches the City Council for a public discussion April 2.

The city could join Bellingham, Edmonds, Mukilteo and Seattle to ban plastic bags at local retailers — a step designed to limit garbage headed for the King County landfill and reduce pollution in Puget Sound.

Issaquah council members could decide to vote on the measure or continue the discussion at a later meeting.

“The goal isn’t just to get everyone to switch from plastic to paper, it’s to get people to switch from bags that you use once to bags that you reuse,” Councilman Mark Mullet said.

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Study: Most greenhouse gas emissions come from elsewhere

March 13, 2012

Officials said greenhouse gas emissions produced by goods and services from outside King County double the collective carbon footprint for the region.

The study, titled “Greenhouse Gas Emissions in King County” and released Feb. 8 by County Executive Dow Constantine, said emissions related to the production of food, goods and services from outside the county pose a challenge. Emissions from local sources increased 5 percent in King County between 2003 and 2008, but per-person emissions decreased during the same period, in part due to reduced driving and vehicles’ increased fuel efficiency.

In King County, per-person sources of greenhouse gas emissions amount to half the national average, due to clean energy sources and the types of industry in the region.

Overall, greenhouse gas emissions from producing goods and services, including materials and manufacturing, comprise more than 60 percent of all emissions related to consumption. Then, using goods and services — such as fueling a car or powering a refrigerator — represents more than 25 percent of consumption-based emissions.

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Officials consider plastic bag ban for Issaquah

February 14, 2012

Officials intend to use Seattle ordinance as model

Canvas bags could turn into a more common sight in Issaquah checkout lanes soon.

The city is poised to join Bellingham, Edmonds, Mukilteo and Seattle to ban plastic bags at local retailers — to limit garbage headed for the King County landfill and reduce pollution in Puget Sound.

Though a decision on a plastic bag ban is months distant, the Council Utilities, Technology & Environment Committee plans to start collecting input from businesses owners and residents Feb. 16.

“To me, the beauty of it is, you get to your end objective, which is getting rid of plastic bags, and you’re not putting an undue, negative impact on the businesses in your community,” said Councilman Mark Mullet, a local merchant and the committee chairman.

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Study: Most greenhouse gas emissions in King County come from outside sources

February 9, 2012

NEW — 8 a.m. Feb. 9, 2012

Officials said greenhouse gas emissions produced by good and services from outside King County double the collective carbon footprint for the region.

The study, titled “Greenhouse Gas Emissions in King County” and released Wednesday by County Executive Dow Constantine, said emissions related to the production of food, goods and services from outside the county pose a challenge. Emissions from local sources increased 5 percent in King County between 2003 and 2008, but per-person emissions decreased during the same period, in part due to reduced driving and vehicles’ increased fuel efficiency.

In King County, per-person sources of greenhouse gas emissions amount to half the national average, due to to clean energy sources and the types of industry in the region.

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