Metro bus is refuge for youths in trouble

September 13, 2011

Help for troubled teenagers and children is only a bus stop away.

King County, local service agencies and Safe Place — a national nonprofit organization formed to create community safety nets for young people in crisis — combined forces for the effort.

Through the program, if a young person in crisis needs help, all he or she has to do is approach a Metro Transit bus driver and say, “I need a safe place.” The driver places a call to trigger contact to a youth service provider. The organization then arranges to meet and transport the youth to safety.

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King County certifies August primary election results

September 6, 2011

Turnout in the Aug. 16 primary election reached 32 percent, less than officials estimated in the days before the ballot deadline.

King County Elections released the information after officials certified the results Aug. 31.

Overall, voters returned 349,566 ballots of the 1,103,522 packets the elections office mailed in late July.

The electorate resoundingly approved a measure to renew the Veterans and Human Services Levy until 2017 — 69 percent to 31 percent. Organizations operating in Issaquah and the surrounding area, such as Friends of Youth and YWCA of Seattle-King-Snohomish, receive support from the levy.

The elections office tabulated 338,255 ballots and did not record any discrepancies.

Voters cast 192 ballots on Accessible Voting Units and returned 32,146 ballots to drop boxes stationed throughout the county, including at Issaquah City Hall.

Officials challenged signatures on 11,285 ballots and resolved challenges on 5,457 ballots.

No Issaquah City Council or school board races appeared on the August ballot.

The general election is Nov. 8, and the elections office plans to mail ballots to voters in October.

King County Elections certifies August primary results

August 31, 2011

NEW — 3 p.m. Aug. 31, 2011

King County Elections certified the results of the Aug. 16 primary election Wednesday morning.

Overall, voters returned 349,566 ballots of the 1,103,522 elections officials mailed in late July. Turnout reached 32 percent — less than officials estimated in the days before the ballot deadline.

The electorate resoundingly approved — 69 percent to 31 percent — renewing the Veterans and Human Services Levy until 2017.

Organizations operating in Issaquah and the surrounding area, such as Friends of Youth and YWCA of Seattle-King-Snohomish, receive support from the levy.

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King County Metro Transit offers safe space for youth

August 31, 2011

NEW — 2:15 p.m. Aug. 31, 2011

Help for troubled teenagers and children is only a bus stop away under a plan King County leaders announced Wednesday.

The county, local service agencies and Safe Place — a national nonprofit organization formed to create community safety nets for young people in crisis — joined for the effort.

Through the program, if a young person in crisis needs help, all he or she has to do is approach a Metro Transit bus driver and say, “I need a safe place.” The driver then makes a call to trigger contact to a youth service provider. The organization then arranges to meet and transport the youth to safety.

Metro Transit and the service agencies— YouthCare, Friends of Youth and Auburn Youth Resources— mean King County is the largest Safe Place partner in the state. The purpose of the program is to put the necessary community resources in place to get help to young people quickly and decrease the potential for harm.

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Voters overwhelmingly renew Veterans and Human Services Levy

August 23, 2011

The popular Veterans and Human Services Levy garnered overwhelming support from King County voters Aug. 16, as the electorate renewed the measure through 2017.

The levy is expected to generate about $100 million for programs to aid veterans and needy residents. The funding is split 50-50 between veterans programs and human services efforts.

“The citizens of King County have demonstrated their respect for our veterans and compassion for our neighbors most in need by voting to renew the Veterans and Human Services Levy,” County Executive Dow Constantine, a levy supporter, said in a statement late Aug. 16.

“I thank the voters for approving the levy and showing, once again, that King County is an extraordinary community in which to live.”

The measure, Proposition 1, garnered more than 60 percent of the vote in the initial results King County Elections released last week. The elections office is due to certify the results Aug. 31.

The measure garnered broad support from human services organizations and advocates for veterans. The county Voters’ Guide, in fact, did not include any statements opposing Proposition 1. Even the County Council put the measure on the ballot in a unanimous decision.

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Donate school supplies — and receive discount — at Cedar Grove Composting

August 21, 2011

NEW — 6 a.m. Aug. 21, 2011

Donate school supplies for children in need at Cedar Grove Composting near Issaquah.

The composting facility, 17825 Cedar Grove Road S.E., is a collection site for back-to-school donations to the Maple Valley Food Bank. Donate through Wednesday to receive a 15 percent discount on bagged or bulk compost, and a 33 percent discount on kitchen collection kits.

Donate binders, notebooks, pencils and more to the food bank in order to receive the discount.

The food pantry encourages people to purchase and donate school supplies, make a monetary donation to support the purchase of wholesale backpacks and supplies, or include a monetary gift alongside supplies.

The food bank distributed 568 supply-filled backpacks at the start of the 2010-11 school year.

Cedar Grove Composting is near the Cedar Hills Regional Landfill in unincorporated King County, about eight miles south of downtown Issaquah.

Friends of Youth in downtown Issaquah is also collecting back-to-school supplies for needy children before classes start in the Issaquah School District on Aug. 30.

Veterans and Human Services Levy appears certain to pass

August 16, 2011

NEW — 8:16 p.m. Aug. 16, 2011

King County voters offered strong support Tuesday for renewing the county Veterans and Human Services Levy until 2017.

The measure, Proposition 1, garnered 66 percent of the vote in the initial round of results King County Elections released just after 8 p.m.

The figure is expected to shift in the coming days as the elections office receives and counts more ballots, but the measure appears certain to pass. The initial tally released Tuesday night encompassed 208,833 ballots.

The levy renewal is projected to generate $100 million through 2017. The funding is split 50-50 among programs for veterans and the neediest residents in King County.

The electorate approved the initial Veterans and Human Services Levy — 5 cents per $1,000 of assessed value — to fund programs for veterans and social service efforts in 2005. The existing levy is due to expire Dec. 31.

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Press Editorial

August 16, 2011

Good education starts with school supplies

When there’s a community need, Issaquah takes care of its own. And Issaquah residents always put education on a pedestal. School will soon be starting and parents have already begun the major shopping spree to outfit returning students. Not every parent has the means.

The need for back-to-school supplies is critical. Have you thought to buy an extra box of crayons?

The Issaquah Food & Clothing Bank expects about 500 children of their clients will need backpacks filled with notebooks, paper, crayons and marker pens, red and blue pens, erasers and glue. And those are just among the minimum needs.

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Voters to decide King County veterans-and-human-services levy

August 9, 2011

Measure funds Issaquah programs for teenagers, parents

King County voters decide the future of a county veterans-and-human-services levy soon, and as Election Day nears, recipients of levy dollars demonstrated how the measure impacts Issaquah and other communities.

The electorate approved the initial veterans-and-human-services levy — 5 cents per $1,000 of assessed value — to fund programs for veterans and social service efforts in 2005. The measure, Proposition 1, is up for renewal on the Aug. 16 ballot.

If passed, the levy renewal is projected to generate $100 million through 2017. The funding is split 50-50 among programs for veterans and the neediest residents in King County.

Proposition 1 matches the existing levy and does not include additional taxes. The owner of a home assessed at $340,000 is expected to pay $17 in 2012 if the levy is renewed. (The existing levy is due to expire Dec. 31.)

Proposition 1 receives broad support from human services organizations and advocates for veterans. The measure received unanimous support on the often-contentious council. The county Voters’ Guide does not include any statements against Proposition 1.

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Celebrities turn out for memorial golf tournament

July 19, 2011

Months before the Joshua P. Williams Foundation Celebrity Golf Tournament each year, a posse of his old buddies from Skyline High School scheme about what to wear on tournament day.

By Christopher Huber Mark Hanan, Luke Tulshar, Collin Roberts and Brandon Hemphill (from left), old friends of Josh Williams, watch a ball fly from the bunker on the 12th hole at The Plateau Club on July 12.

This year, four of the guys each played while decked out from head to toe in one color. They found the vibrant attire at a thrift store, intent on standing out everywhere they went at The Plateau Club.

“They look like popsicles out there,” said Debra Williams, Josh’s mother and event organizer. “They make it fun.”

More than 200 people participated in the 2011 celebrity golf tournament in Sammamish July 12. Centered around the casual golf tournament, the charity event raised money for the Williams family’s foundation at the dinner-auction that evening.

A total wasn’t immediately available.

“It’s a fun way for everybody to come out and celebrate Josh’s life,” said Mark Hanan, one of Josh’s high school friends, who wore a baby blue polo shirt and pants. “It’s the best day of the year. It’s a good way to give back to the community.”

This year’s tournament brought 36 local celebrities, including Chance Fry (Seattle Sounders), Tracie Ruiz-Conforto (Olympic gold medalist), Tyler Malsam (auto racer from Sammamish), Alonzo Mitz (retired NFL player), Golden Tate (Seattle Seahawks), Dave Valle (former Seattle Mariners catcher) and Gino Torretta (NFL retired player, NCAA Hall of Fame).

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