Voters approve park bond, narrow contenders for November election

August 6, 2013

NEW — 8:30 p.m., Aug. 6, 2013

King County voters approved the park bond by a large margin and narrowed the field for the general election this November.
Votes will still be counted until the Aug. 20 certification, but as of the night of Aug. 6, the park bond passed with 68.9 percent of the vote.
For the owner of a $600,000 home, it will bring a tax increase from $79.86 per year to $112.62 per year, a 41 percent change. The levy will raise $60.7 million in 2014 which will be used for open space preservation, trail building and park improvements.

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King County executive to join local discussion of coal trains

May 7, 2013

Dow Constantine

Dow Constantine

King County Executive Dow Constantine will join a discussion of controversial coal trains, coal ports and their impact on the Pacific Northwest at the May 15 meeting of Democrats in the 5th Legislative District in Issaquah. The public is invited.

Constantine, who opposes the plan to ship coal from Montana and Wyoming through the Northwest to proposed ports at Cherry Point near Bellingham and Longview, will be joined by representatives of two leading opponents of the plan — Washington Conservation Voters and Power Past Coal, according to a press release from the 5th District Democrats.

The coal train meeting is the focus of the May 15 monthly meeting of the 5th District Democrats at Issaquah City Hall’s Eagle Room, 130 E. Sunset Way. Networking starts at 6:30 p.m.; the meeting starts at 7 p.m.

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State of the County address outlines plans for infrastructure

February 5, 2013

NEW — 4 p.m. Feb. 5, 2013

King County Executive Dow Constantine outlined initiatives to curb gun violence, provide easier access to services for military veterans and family members, and enroll 180,000 uninsured residents into affordable health care.

constantine county 20091000

Dow Constantine

Constantine presented the proposals to the public and the King County Council on Monday in a State of the County address delivered at Seattle’s Museum of History & Industry.

In the address, Constantine said the county emerged strong from the challenges created related to the Great Recession, and said priorities for the year focused on the county’s future by strengthening human infrastructure — such as jobs, health care and veterans services — natural infrastructure — including efforts to address climate change, flood protection and environmental cleanup — and built infrastructure — such as maintaining roads and transit.

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Fred Butler enters race for Issaquah mayor

January 22, 2013

Fred Butler, a City Council stalwart for 13 years and a voice in important debates about the future of Issaquah, entered the race for mayor Jan. 17.

Fred Butler

Fred Butler

The contest could hinge on the vision for the decades ahead, as city leaders seek to position Issaquah for redevelopment and attract more jobs to the community.

Butler, 72, served on the council at major junctures in recent history, as members debated the defunct Southeast Bypass road link, how to preserve forested Park Pointe on Tiger Mountain and, late last year, a 30-year redevelopment blueprint called the Central Issaquah Plan.

“We are in the process of evolving from a small town to a small city, moving from suburban to urban,” he said in a Jan 17 interview. “Because I’ve been involved in a lot of the planning and the development of the urban villages and the Central Issaquah Plan, I believe I’m in a pretty good position to help implement the direction that we are going in.”

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Fred Butler launches campaign for Issaquah mayor

January 17, 2013

NEW — 6 p.m. Jan. 17, 2013

Fred Butler, a City Council stalwart for 13 years and a voice in important debates about the future of Issaquah, entered the race for mayor Thursday.

Fred Butler

Fred Butler

The contest could hinge on the vision for the decades ahead, as city leaders seek to position Issaquah for redevelopment and attract more jobs to the community.

Butler, 72, served on the council at major junctures in recent history, as members debated the defunct Southeast Bypass road link, how to preserve forested Park Pointe on Tiger Mountain, and late last year, a 30-year redevelopment blueprint called the Central Issaquah Plan.

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Legislators’ priorities reflect education, transportation needs

January 15, 2013

Lawmakers confronted a familiar scenario as the Legislature convened Jan. 14 — a budget shortfall, opposing pressures to preserve essential services and rein in government spending, and a court mandate to spend more money on education.

Mark Mullet

Mark Mullet

Chad Magendanz

Chad Magendanz

Observers expect education and transportation to rank as the dominant issues in the 105-day session. The state faces a $900 million budget shortfall for 2013-15 and, in the meantime, faces a court order to increase education funding by 2018.

In addition to the statewide issues on legislators’ docket, a lobbyist hired by city leaders to represent Issaquah is in search of support for local projects, including dollars to upgrade transportation infrastructure and Lake Sammamish State Park.

Issaquah is also focused on securing state dollars for a transportation improvement district in North Issaquah near Costco headquarters and high-traffic retail centers.

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Planners steer more than $3 million to local road projects

January 15, 2013

Issaquah-area road projects received a green light to proceed — and more than $3 million — after planners approved a regional transportation program.

Puget Sound Regional Council leaders recommended funding for projects on Southeast May Valley Road, Issaquah-Hobart Road Southeast, West Lake Sammamish Parkway Southeast and 228th Avenue Southeast on the Sammamish Plateau.

The lineup includes projects just outside Issaquah city limits, but none inside the city.

Some dollars for the projects come from $440 million in federal funds distributed by the planning authority for King, Kitsap, Pierce and Snohomish counties. State gas tax revenue and local funds then cover the remaining project costs.

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County officials wager Starbucks, Coke on playoff game

January 12, 2013

NEW — 6 a.m. Jan. 12, 2013

Leaders in the home communities for the Seattle Seahawks and the Atlanta Falcons made a friendly wager before the teams clash on the gridiron.

King County Executive Dow Constantine and Fulton County, Ga., Chairman John Eaves each put iconic beverages on the outcome. Constantine put up coffee from local roasters, including Seattle-based Starbucks and several smaller companies. Eaves wagered a gift basket from Atlanta-based Coca-Cola.

“The whole region is excited for the game on Sunday, and I want to thank Chairman Eaves for joining me in this friendly wager to highlight our local companies, and our winning teams,” Constantine said in a statement. “Go Hawks!”

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Martin Luther King Jr. celebration is Jan. 17

January 8, 2013

King County officials and employees plan to honor slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. in a community celebration Jan. 17.

Scheduled speakers at the event include King County Executive Dow Constantine and King County Council Chairman Larry Gossett.

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County executives engage in friendly football wager

January 8, 2013

Leaders in the home communities for the Seattle Seahawks and the Washington Redskins engaged in a friendly rivalry in the days before the teams met on the gridiron Jan. 6.

King County Executive Dow Constantine and Prince George’s County, Md., Executive Rushern Baker each put up a case of coffee on the outcome.

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