Washington elected officials earn honor for conservation efforts

July 24, 2012

Evergreen State elected officials earned a national honor for efforts to conserve Washington wilderness.

Both U.S. senators, Democrats Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, and the Issaquah representative in the U.S. House of Representatives, Republican Dave Reichert, received recognition as America’s Great Outdoors Congressional Champions from The Wilderness Society, a national conservation group.

The organization also recognized other Washington representatives, Democrats Norm Dicks and Rick Larsen, for conservation efforts.

Murray earned recognition for championing the 106,000-acre Wild Sky Wilderness in the Cascades. Murray and Reichert coauthored the Alpine Lakes Wilderness additions bill to add 22,000 acres and more than 30 miles of rivers in the Middle Fork of Snoqualmie River and the Pratt River valleys.

Cantwell worked to preserve the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail and introduced legislation to preserve public access and protect lands in the San Juan Islands.

The recognition came in late June during Great Outdoors America Week.

“Washington state is fortunate to have incredibly strong advocates for protecting and reconnecting Americans to the great outdoors,” said Peter Dykstra, Pacific Northwest regional director at The Wilderness Society.

Meet candidates in contested congressional, legislative races

July 17, 2012

The only local races contested in the Aug. 7 primary election include a U.S. House of Representatives election and a state House of Representatives election.

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U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert honors Issaquah police officers

July 17, 2012

U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert recognized the Issaquah Police Department last month to honor the officers involved in a deadly shootout late last year.

Dave Reichert

Cpl. Christian Muñoz, officers Laura Asbell, Jesse Petersen, Brian Horn, Tom Griffith and Sgt. Chris Wilson earned recognition from Reichert, a former King County sheriff and Auburn Republican.

Officers fatally shot Ronald W. Ficker just before noon Sept. 24 after the rural Maple Valley man abandoned a rental car at a downtown intersection and, carrying rifles and ammunition, set off in the direction of school campuses.

In a King County-mandated inquest held in May, jurors determined Asbell, Horn, Muñoz and Petersen faced a life-threatening situation and used proper procedures to stop Ficker on the Clark Elementary School campus.

On May 4, Asbell, Horn, Muñoz and Petersen also earned the Law Enforcement Medal of Honor, the top law enforcement honor in Washington.

Reichert also recognized the officers from the House floor May 10.

“On that day, as on every day, law enforcement officers saved lives calmly, swiftly and selflessly,” he said then.

Washington elected officials earn honor for conservation efforts

July 10, 2012

NEW — 8 a.m. July 10, 2012

Evergreen State elected officials earned a national honor for efforts to conserve Washington wilderness.

Both U.S. senators, Democrats Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, and the Issaquah representative in the U.S. House of Representatives, Republican Dave Reichert, received recognition as America’s Great Outdoors Congressional Champions from The Wilderness Society, a national conservation group.

“Washington state is fortunate to have incredibly strong advocates for protecting and reconnecting Americans to the great outdoors,” said Peter Dykstra, Pacific Northwest regional director at The Wilderness Society. “Washingtonians depend on our great wild places for clean air and water, sustainable jobs and recreation opportunities. We salute all those working to ensure that current and future generations are able to enjoy America’s public lands and all they have to offer.”

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King County, Washington leaders react after Supreme Court health care ruling

June 28, 2012

NEW — 10:45 a.m. June 28, 2012

King County Executive Dow Constantine and other elected officials split along party lines Thursday after the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark ruling on the federal health care overhaul.

In a complex decision, justices on the high court ruled 5-4 to uphold the individual mandate — a requirement for all Americans to enroll in a health insurance plan or pay a penalty. The provision is scheduled to go into effect in 2014.

The ruling limited the plan in the Affordable Care Act — dubbed Obamacare by some — to expand Medicaid for the poor.

Justices ruled the federal government cannot withhold a state’s entire Medicaid allotment if the state does not participate in the planned Medicaid expansion.

“I celebrate the Supreme Court’s ruling to uphold the Affordable Care Act,” Constantine said in a statement. “A stable, healthier future has been made possible by this ruling. This is affirmation of our nationwide, bold move toward achieving quality affordable healthcare, and we are moving in the right direction.”

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Issaquah business, government leaders welcome U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert

June 4, 2012

NEW — 3:30 p.m. June 4, 2012

Issaquah business and government leaders greeted U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert on Monday at a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the congressman’s Issaquah district office.

In March, the GOP congressman opened the office in a Southeast 56th Street office building uphill from East Lake Sammamish Parkway Southeast.

The relocation reflects changes in the 8th Congressional District precipitated last year by redistricting. The redrawn district stretches from Auburn in South King County to Wenatchee in Chelan County.

The former district encompassed only communities in King and Pierce counties. Reichert used to operate a district office in Mercer Island, but redistricting shifted Mercer Island into the 9th Congressional District.

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Congressman spearheads ‘blue alert’ legislation

May 29, 2012

U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert — Issaquah’s lawmaker in Congress — applauded the May 15 passage of legislation to create a National Blue Alert, a nationwide system to inform the public about people suspected of injuring or killing law enforcement officers.

Reichert, a former King County sheriff and Auburn Republican, cosponsored the National Blue Alert Act of 2012. The bill passed the House of Representatives, 394-1, on National Peace Officer Memorial Day.

“When a criminal murders a law enforcement officer, speedy apprehension is essential to protecting the public, preventing further loss of life and returning peace to communities,” he said in a statement.

The legislation establishes a communications network within the U.S. Department of Justice to disseminate information after a law enforcement officer is killed or injured in the line of duty.

The system is envisioned as similar to the AMBER Alert, a network of electronic billboards, TV spots and other messages to alert people to missing children.

The measure heads to the Senate for additional consideration.

In March, Gov. Chris Gregoire signed a state “blue alert” measure into law.

U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert commemorates fallen on Memorial Day

May 28, 2012

NEW — 8 a.m. May 28, 2012

U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert honored veterans and families on Memorial Day, as the Issaquah representative in Congress also highlighted legislative accomplishments for veterans.

“As so many of us settle into this long weekend looking forward to visiting with and enjoying our friends and family, let us pause to remember those Americans who have given us the liberty to do so,” he said in a statement. “We are blessed to have so many generations of warriors who have fought valiantly for our freedom. They suffered so that those of us who endure may pursue our American dreams.”

Reichert, a former King County sheriff and Auburn Republican, also served in the U.S. Air Force Reserve during the Vietnam War era.

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Representative spearheads creation of nationwide ‘blue alert’

May 15, 2012

NEW — 5 p.m. May 15, 2012

U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert — Issaquah’s lawmaker in Congress — applauded the passage of legislation to create a National Blue Alert, a nationwide system to inform the public about people suspected of injuring or killing law enforcement officers.

Reichert, a former King County sheriff and Auburn Republican, cosponsored the National Blue Alert Act of 2012. The bill passed the House of Representatives, 394-1, on Tuesday, National Peace Officer Memorial Day.

“Creating the National Blue Alert system is a crucial step forward in protecting our communities and preventing further tragedy,” he said in a statement. “When a criminal murders a law enforcement officer, speedy apprehension is essential to protecting the public, preventing further loss of life and returning peace to communities.”

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FISH invites public to catch Issaquah Salmon Hatchery’s 75th anniversary

April 17, 2012

The iconic Issaquah Salmon Hatchery opened along Issaquah Creek 75 years ago and, in the decades since, developed into a symbol for the community and a lifeline for fish species.

The anniversary celebration is due to start April 22, Earth Day, as the nonprofit organization Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery hosts a public open house. The daylong celebration launches a series of events to mark the milestone.

“The hatchery brought back the salmon to Issaquah,” FISH Executive Director Jane Kuechle said.

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