Issaquah joins effort to increase access to shelter beds for homeless

December 18, 2012

Just as the mercury started to drop, 135 additional emergency winter shelter beds opened for homeless men and women, thanks in part to funding from Issaquah and other Eastside cities.

Issaquah joined Bellevue, Kirkland, Redmond and Sammamish to increase funding for winter shelter. More funding from the United Way of King County allows East King County organizations to add emergency shelter beds.

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Residents can soon text information to 911 during emergencies

December 17, 2012

NEW — 10 p.m. Dec. 17, 2012

King County is poised to implement text-to-911 capability soon, on the heels of federal rules proposed Monday to require wireless carries and text messaging applications to deliver 911 text messages.

The county is at work on upgrading the countywide Enhanced 911 system to Next Generation 911 technology, and text-to-911 is a major milestone in the transition.

Officials said all 911 centers throughout the county have the equipment necessary to receive text-to-911, and should be ready as soon as wireless carriers launch the service.

“Our 911 dispatchers already have the equipment to receive text messages, but right now wireless carriers don’t provide this service,” King County Executive Dow Constantine said in a statement. “Once they do, we can provide better emergency response to people with hearing or speech disabilities.”

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Issaquah joins effort to increase access to shelter beds for homeless

December 15, 2012

NEW — 6 a.m. Dec. 15, 2012

Just as the mercury started to drop overnight, 135 additional emergency winter shelter beds opened for homeless men and women, thanks in part to funding from Issaquah and other Eastside cities.

Issaquah joined Bellevue, Kirkland, Redmond and Sammamish to increase funding for winter shelter. More funding from the United Way of King County allows East King County organizations to add emergency shelter beds.

Congregations for the Homeless added 15 additional beds each night for homeless men, and Sophia Way plans to add 10 more beds for women and children, and remain open a month longer than originally planned.

“Even as we work to create permanent housing, we are working to increase the emergency shelter options to help people in our community who have no place now to sleep,” King County Executive Dow Constantine, Governing Board of the Committee to End Homelessness co-chairman, said in a statement.

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Local leaders respond to Connecticut school massacre

December 14, 2012

NEW — 3:30 p.m. Dec. 14, 2012

Issaquah School District and King County leaders urged action in the hours after a school shooting in Connecticut claimed 27 lives, including 20 children.

Officials sought to reassure parents about campus safety and offer advice about how parents can talk to children about the tragedy.

“On behalf of the Issaquah School District, our hearts go out to community of Newtown, Conn., and especially to the staff, students and families of Sandy Hook Elementary School,” Issaquah School District Superintendent Steve Rasmussen said in a message emailed to district parents Friday afternoon. “It’s difficult to comprehend the motivation for the horrific attack that took place this morning.

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Rush for same-sex weddings sets marriage license record

December 11, 2012

Dow Constantine

In a milestone just after midnight Dec. 6, King County started issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, a month after Washington voters legalized same-sex marriage.

The county issued a record 623 marriage licenses between midnight Dec. 6 and 4:30 p.m. Dec. 8. The initial day set a record at 489.

King County Executive Dow Constantine issued the initial marriage license at 12:01 a.m. in a ceremony at the King County Recorder’s Office.

“Tonight you are making history,” he said to the initial group of 11 couples. “Not only our legislators, but the people of this state have said every person is entitled to equal treatment. This advances our law in the state of Washington, and brings us one step closer to that first ‘self-evident’ truth announced by our nation’s founders: that all are created equal.”

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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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Parks task force recommends 2013 property tax measure

December 10, 2012

NEW — 8 a.m. Dec. 10, 2012

King County voters could decide next year on dollars to complete the East Lake Sammamish Trail, add a Cougar Mountain trailhead in Issaquah, and continue funding parks and trails countywide.

Late last month, King County Parks Levy Task Force members unanimously recommended continuing a pair of six-year levies to support county-run parks, trails and open space. Voters overwhelmingly approved the most recent pair of park levies in 2007.

The voter-approved levies fund the bulk of park operations, but the property tax measures expire in December 2013. In June, King County Executive Constantine convened the task force to explore options future funding.

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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 issues marriage licenses to more than 300 same-sex couples

December 6, 2012

NEW — 9:05 a.m. Dec. 6, 2012

In a milestone just after midnight Thursday, King County started issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, a month after Washington voters legalized same-sex marriage.

King County Executive Dow Constantine issued the initial marriage license at 12:01 a.m. in a ceremony at the King County Recorder’s Office. The county issued 345 marriage licenses by 9 a.m. — a record for the number of licenses issued in a single day.

“Tonight you are making history,” Constantine said to the initial group of 11 couples. “Not only our legislators but the people of this state have said every person is entitled to equal treatment. This advances our law in the state of Washington, and brings us one step closer to that first ‘self-evident’ truth announced by our nation’s founders: That all are created equal.”

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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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