King County to issue same-sex marriage licenses

November 27, 2012

King County Executive Dow Constantine plans to open the King County Recorder’s Office at 12:01 a.m. Dec. 6 to start issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

The time comes immediately upon certification of Nov. 6 election results. Constantine intends to sign King County’s first marriage license for a same-sex couple at 12:01 a.m.

“I don’t want couples to wait a minute longer than legally necessary to get the rights that voters have recognized,” he said in a statement.

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Residents receive grants for mapping, National Night Out

November 20, 2012

Dow Constantine

Issaquah-area residents received more than $3,700 in King County grants to host a National Night Out event and map rural areas between Issaquah and Renton, leaders announced Nov. 14.

Officials awarded $60,000 in grants for disaster preparedness, neighborhood cleanup, tourism promotion and other activities in unincorporated communities countywide. Overall, King County Executive Dow Constantine announced 24 Community Engagement Grants.

The grants amount to less than $5,000 apiece, and each community must match at least 25 percent of total project cost. Officials said the grants offer residents in unincorporated areas a chance to participate more in community activities.

The county awarded a $1,254.50 grant to residents in the Four Creeks/Tiger Mountain area to produce a National Night Out program, plus a $2,500 grant to create maps and conduct spatial analysis for community planning.

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King County earmarks dollars for veterans programs

November 20, 2012

King County leaders agreed to spend $3.4 million to help veterans find counseling, employment and housing.

The dollars, approved by the King County Council, come from the Veterans and Human Services Levy approved by voters last year.

The spending includes $2.3 million for veterans’ housing capital and supportive services; more than $300,000 for a veterans’ aerospace training initiative; and more than $80,000 for increased post traumatic stress disorder treatment and military family counseling

“This funding makes it possible to honor and help our returning veterans by creating the stability of permanent housing and employment opportunities for living wage jobs in our burgeoning aerospace community,” County Executive Dow Constantine said in a statement.

Communities receive grants for National Night Out, mapping projects

November 15, 2012

NEW — 11:45 a.m. Nov. 15, 2012

Issaquah-area residents received more than $3,700 in King County grants to host a National Night Out event and map rural areas between Issaquah and Renton, leaders announced Wednesday.

Officials awarded $60,000 in grants for disaster preparedness, neighborhood cleanup, tourism promotion and other activities in unincorporated communities countywide.

Overall, King County Executive Dow Constantine announced 24 Community Engagement Grants. Officials said the grants offer residents in unincorporated areas a chance to participate more in community activities.

The county awarded $1,254.50 to residents in the Four Creeks/Tiger Mountain area to produce a National Night Out program.

Four Creeks/Tiger Mountain residents also received a $2,500 grant to create maps and conduct spatial analysis for community planning.

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King County executive to sign same-sex marriage licenses at 12:01 a.m. Dec. 6

November 15, 2012

NEW — 11:45 a.m. Nov. 15, 2012

King County Executive Dow Constantine plans to open the King County Recorder’s Office at 12:01 a.m. Dec. 6 to start issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

The time comes immediately upon certification of Nov. 6 election results. Constantine intends to sign King County’s first marriage license for a same-sex couple at 12:01 a.m.

“I don’t want couples to wait a minute longer than legally necessary to get the rights that voters have recognized,” he said in a statement.

The move makes King County the first jurisdiction in the United States to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples based on voter approval. Voters in Washington, Maryland, and Maine approved same-sex initiatives on Election Day, but the laws in Maryland and Maine do not take effect until January.

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Sammamish couple hails same-sex marriage milestone

November 13, 2012

Washington voters’ groundbreaking decision to approve same-sex marriage elicited a simple — but heartfelt — response from a Sammamish couple: thank you.

Referendum 74, buoyed by strong support in King County, authorized same-sex marriage in Washington. Dana and Sage Alixander, longtime partners married in California before Proposition 8 outlawed same-sex marriage, hailed the historic decision in Washington.

Dana Alixander offered a “collective thank you” to R-74 supporters not long after the measure inched ahead in election night results.

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King County proposes financing for ‘green’ projects

November 13, 2012

Businesses, nonprofit organizations and other groups could receive easier access to low-interest financing for “green” projects under a county proposal.

In legislation proposed Oct. 23, King County Executive Dow Constantine said the county should create the state’s first Green Communities Initiative.

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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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King County voters renew levy for police fingerprint services

November 8, 2012

NEW — 5 p.m. Nov. 8, 2012

King County voters overwhelmingly approved a $118.9 million property tax levy to continue funding criminal fingerprint identification services for local law enforcement agencies, including the Issaquah Police Department.

Proposition 1 asked voters to keep the Automated Fingerprint Identification System, or AFIS, in operation through 2018. The system provides criminal fingerprint identification services to the King County Sheriff’s Office and other local law enforcement agencies.

The proposed renewal levy rate is 5.92 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation, or about $20.72 per year for a $350,000 home.

Issaquah officers used information from AFIS 2,100 times last year to determine if a jail inmate was evading a warrant, concealing a criminal record or using a false identity.

Investigators use the AFIS database to match fingerprints and palmprints to criminal suspects. The system is managed by the sheriff’s office.

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Committee removes $20 roads fee from King County budget

November 8, 2012

NEW — 11:15 a.m. Nov. 8, 2012

The committee responsible for crafting the 2013 King County budget dropped a plan to charge unincorporated-area residents a $20 vehicle-license fee to fund road maintenance, officials announced Thursday.

The proposed $7.6 billion budget contains $685 million for the general fund — the source of dollars for elections, law enforcement and other basic government functions. King County Council budget team members said 73 percent of dollars from the fund go toward public safety and criminal justice programs.

The proposed budget does not dip into cash reserves or the county’s rainy day fund.

In September, King County Executive Dow Constantine proposed a $20 fee to fund road maintenance and storm response in rural and unincorporated areas.

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