How did Issaquah vote?

January 1, 2013

City-level results from the November election show Issaquah voters followed statewide trends on some issues, or occasionally chose another direction.

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Transportation is high priority as leaders list state, federal agendas

December 11, 2012

NEW — 10 a.m. Dec. 11, 2012

Transportation is a high priority as King County prepares to ask state and federal leaders for assistance to upgrade roads and other infrastructure.

King County Council members adopted legislative agendas for the state and federal governments Monday. The lists focus on transportation improvements and efforts to preserve human services.

“The challenges facing Olympia and Washington, D.C., have a direct impact on how King County can serve its residents,” council Chairman Larry Gossett said in a statement. “The adopted agendas are clear directives from both the council and the executive on what the county’s priorities are and how we plan to work with our delegations to achieve those priorities.”

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Leaders adopt King County growth blueprint

December 7, 2012

NEW — 10 a.m. Dec. 7, 2012

The growth blueprint approved by King County Council members Monday is meant to strengthen protections for open space and farmland, officials said after the council adopted the latest update to the King County Comprehensive Plan.

The document guides growth in unincorporated communities, including Preston, Four Creeks and other areas just outside Issaquah city limits.

The plan sets policy on such major issues as annexations, transportation and the environment. Under the State Growth Management Act, passed in 1990, state law directs the most-populous and fastest-growing counties to prepare comprehensive land use plans for a 20-year span.

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King County officials to answer rural residents’ questions

December 4, 2012

Residents in unincorporated areas can meet leaders and discuss plans for upcoming projects at a King County open house soon.

The event is for residents in the Four Creeks/Tiger Mountain Community Service Area — a rural stretch bordered by Issaquah and Interstate 90 on the north and Renton to the west.

The open house offers the public a chance to offer feedback on the community service area program — or dividing unincorporated areas into districts for administrative purposes — and proposed work plans for next year. Participants can discuss community priorities, speak with program staff members, and learn about county programs and services.

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King County officials to answer rural residents’ questions

November 29, 2012

NEW — 6 a.m. Nov. 29, 2012

Residents in unincorporated areas can meet leaders and discuss plans for upcoming projects at a King County open house soon.

The event is for residents in Four Creeks/Tiger Mountain Community Service Area — a rural stretch bordered by Issaquah and Interstate 90 on the north and Renton to the west.

The open house offers the public a chance to offer feedback on the community service program and proposed work plans for next year. Participants can discuss community priorities, speak with program staff members, and learn about county programs and services.

Deputy County Executive Fred Jarrett and County Councilman Reagan Dunn plan to attend.

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King County Council adopts 2013 budget without roads fee

November 13, 2012

NEW — 4 p.m. Nov. 13, 2012

King County Council members dropped a proposed $20 vehicle-license fee to fund road maintenance and, in a unanimous decision Tuesday, approved the 2013 budget without the fee.

In September, King County Executive Dow Constantine proposed a $20 fee to fund road maintenance and storm response in rural and unincorporated areas. The decision to drop the proposed fee affects residents in unincorporated King County communities, including Klahanie, Mirrormont, Preston and other areas outside Issaquah.

Rather than creating a transportation benefit district in unincorporated King County, officials plan to lobby the Legislature for a comprehensive state transportation package to address road maintenance.

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Off the Press

November 6, 2012

Political ads turn downright scary

Kathleen R. Merrill
Press managing editor

Last week, there was one day that I was literally sick to my stomach. No, not because I ate too much Halloween candy. Instead, it was because of all of the hate and ugliness in political ads.

Oh yeah. You know the ones I’m talking about:

“If he’s elected, my opponent will make sure you lose your house, and your kids go hungry and your dog dies.”

“My opponent is not who he says he is. He’s a big, fat liar.”

“My opponent has an autographed picture of Osama bin Laden on his desk.”

“My opponent has not been honest with the American people.”

“My opponent eats puppies for breakfast and drowns kittens on weekends.”

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Pragmatism defines Issaquah, Eastside voters

October 30, 2012

Local voters could choose a Democrat for the White House, a Republican for the Governor’s Mansion and split legislative seats between the parties.

Experts said voters in Issaquah and the Eastside prefer a brand of politics anchored in pragmatism, rather than party. The effort to appeal to moderate voters is intense as candidates scrounge for votes in the last days before Election Day.

“Democrats and Republicans both get elected there. I think of it as a pragmatic, rather than ideological, sort of politics, which is what Washington state used to be known for,” independent Seattle pollster Stuart Elway said. “I think the state as a whole has gotten more partisan, as the country has, and the party lines seem to have gotten harder.”

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Change in geography alters landscape for congressional race

October 23, 2012

Karen Porterfield

Dave Reichert

The showdown in the 8th Congressional District is far different from the most recent contests for the seat.

Incumbent Republican Dave Reichert held on amid spirited challenges from Democrats in 2006, 2008 and 2010. Redistricting last year reshaped the landscape for the district, and the 2012 race is not attracting the same kind of attention — or money — as the earlier battles.

Reichert’s opponent is Issaquah Democrat Karen Porterfield, a nonprofit professional and adjunct instructor at Seattle University.

Porterfield grew up in Seattle, in a family active in Democratic politics, and settled in Issaquah more than a decade ago. She said the expertise she gained in affordable housing development and in leadership roles at nonprofit organizations means she could offer a unique perspective in Congress.

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Cyberbullying crackdown is priority for sheriff’s office

October 23, 2012

King County Sheriff’s Office investigators could soon crack down on cyberbullying, after the King County Council approved a motion introduced by Issaquah-area Councilman Reagan Dunn.

Reagan Dunn

Cyberbullying is the use of information and technology to support deliberate, repeated and hostile behavior. The crime exploded in recent years due to the prevalence of social media services, and gained national attention last year after classmates targeted a then-12-year-old Issaquah girl online.

Dunn said cyberbullying is increasingly a concern for law enforcement agencies.

“In recent months, all across the country, we have seen tragedies unfold as a result of cyberbullying,” he said in a statement. “This motion will allow the sheriff’s office to study this issue thoroughly and ensure King County has a plan to deal with any of these troubling bullying trends.”

(Dunn represents rural areas south of Issaquah and Newcastle on the council.)

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