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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41st Legislative District candidates tout successes to appeal to moderate voters

October 16, 2012

Maureen Judge

Steve Litzow

Redistricting shifted more Issaquah neighborhoods into the 41st Legislative District, alongside Mercer Island, Newcastle and parts of Bellevue and Sammamish.

The contest to represent the affluent, suburban district in the state Senate is between Mercer Island residents Maureen Judge, a Democrat, and Steve Litzow, a Republican freshman senator.

In 2010, Litzow defeated appointed incumbent Randy Gordon by 192 votes to represent the district in the Senate. The candidates battled to fill the unexpired term of former Sen. Fred Jarrett, a Republican-turned-Democrat and the current King County deputy executive.

“Fred Jarrett, who was an early endorser of mine and is very beloved and well-known in the 41st, has said to me, ‘Maureen, always remember that this is not a blue district, it’s not a red district. It’s a purple district,’” Judge said.

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Voters could decide dollars for Eastside Fire & Rescue, emergency services

August 21, 2012

The source of dollars underpinning emergency response agencies throughout King County — including Eastside Fire & Rescue — is poised to go before voters next year.

In late July, leaders from the county, cities and emergency response agencies recommended a six-year renewal for the countywide Medic One/EMS levy. The existing levy is due to expire Dec. 31, 2013, and the task force urged leaders to put the property tax measure on the ballot again.

The annual property tax levy provided almost $1.4 million for the 2012 EFR budget. The amount each agency receives is derived through a formula based on assessed values and call volumes in the agency’s service area.

“It’s very important” as a funding source, EFR Deputy Chief Bud Backer said Aug. 2.

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Local legislator Steve Litzow invites constituents to telephone ‘town hall’

June 6, 2012

NEW — 6 a.m. June 6, 2012

Constituents can join state Sen. Steve Litzow for a telephone “town hall” meeting to discuss the recent legislative sessions.

The discussion is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. June 13 and last for 60 minutes. Litzow plans to take constituents’ questions and share views about the recent legislative sessions throughout the discussion.

Litzow represents the portion of Issaquah in the 41st Legislative District — Cougar Mountain and areas west of 12th Avenue Northwest. However, after the 2011 redistricting goes into effect after the November election, the district should encompass more of Issaquah.

Call the toll-free number at 1-877-229-8493 and enter the code 110085 at the prompt. Constituents can direct questions before and after the event to Litzow’s office via email at steve.litzow@leg.wa.gov, or by phone at 453-3076.

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Republican Steve Litzow garners challenge in legislative race

May 1, 2012

State Sen. Steve Litzow, a freshman Republican from Mercer Island and a local representative in Olympia, attracted a challenger April 17 in the race for a full term.

Democrat Maureen Judge, a Mercer Island resident and former Washington Toxics Coalition executive director, entered the race against Litzow.

“As a mother, I deeply value education funding as a force to protect our state’s future competitiveness and economic health,” Judge said in a statement. “During his 2010 campaign, Steve Litzow promised he would fight for education funding. But this legislative session he demonstrated that he’d rather toe the Republican Party line than fight for our kids, our state and our future.”

In 2010, Litzow defeated appointed incumbent Randy Gordon by 192 votes to represent the 41st Legislative District in the Senate. (The recent redistricting process put most of Issaquah inside the district.)

Litzow and Gordon battled to fill the unexpired term of former Sen. Fred Jarrett, the current King County deputy executive.

Catching a legacy as Issaquah Salmon Hatchery turns 75

April 24, 2012

Vicki Hahn (above, left), FISH master docent, uses hatchery sculptures Gillda and Finley to explain how salmon spawn for Lika Clark, 9, her brother Peter Ginter, 13, and their mother Jessica Ginter. By Greg Farrar

The humble buildings along a downtown street and the simple bridge across Issaquah Creek do not call out for attention, but the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery is iconic nonetheless — so iconic, the hatchery and the salmon raised in manmade ponds serve as symbols for Issaquah and the region.

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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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Eastside transportation leaders oppose tolling initiative

October 25, 2011

Local elected officials on the Eastside Transportation Partnership agreed to oppose Initiative 1125, Tim Eyman’s tolling initiative, days before ballots started to reach voters.

I-1125 calls for the Legislature to approve tolls rather than the appointed state Transportation Commission. The initiative also aims to prohibit different toll rates for peak commute times and to require toll revenues to be put toward projects on the road being tolled.

On Oct. 14, less than a month before Election Day, Eastside Transportation Partnership members heard from Bellevue developer and I-1125 supporter Kemper Freeman and I-1125 opponents, former state Secretary of Transportation Doug MacDonald and Deputy King County Executive Fred Jarrett.

Then, members discussed the presentations and voted to oppose the initiative.

The partnership includes elected city and King County officials representing communities east of Lake Washington. The organization is focused on advocacy for regional transportation issues.

Issaquah Mayor Ava Frisinger and Councilman Joshua Schaer serve on the partnership. Issaquah Councilman Fred Butler, a Sound Transit board member, is the partnership’s Sound Transit representative.

Issaquah’s representative on the King County Council, Kathy Lambert, is another member. So, too, is King County Executive Dow Constantine.

Eastside transportation leaders oppose tolling initiative

October 20, 2011

NEW — 8 a.m. Oct. 20, 2011

Local elected officials on the Eastside Transportation Partnership agreed to oppose Initiative 1125, Tim Eyman’s tolling initiative, days before ballots started to reach voters.

I-1125 calls for the Legislature to approve tolls rather than the appointed state Transportation Commission. The initiative also aims to prohibit different toll rates for peak commute times and to require toll revenues to be put toward projects on the road being tolled.

On Oct. 14, Eastside Transportation Partnership members heard from Bellevue developer and 1-1125 supporter Kemper Freeman and I-1125 opponents, former state Secretary of Transportation Doug MacDonald and Deputy King County Executive Fred Jarrett.

Then, members discussed the presentations and voted to oppose the initiative.

In a recent guest column for The Issaquah Press, Eyman said, “I-1125 ensures accountability and transparency.”

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