Meet candidates for local, regional offices at forum

October 4, 2011

Hear from the candidates for City Council, Issaquah School Board and Port of Seattle at a candidate forum sponsored by The Issaquah Press.

The forum is meant to offer voters a chance to learn about local candidates as the clock ticks down to Election Day. King County Elections is due to mail ballots to voters in late October. The forum starts at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 13 at the King County Library Service Center.

The forum is not a debate. Candidates offer opening statements to the audience and then answer a series of questions from reporters as Publisher Debbie Berto moderates the discussion.

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Issaquah School District’s bond deadline approaches

September 20, 2011

The Issaquah School Board is moving closer to placing a possible $227 million capital improvement bond issue on the ballot in February.

At a special session Sept. 13 and at their regular meeting Sept. 14, school board members spent several hours reviewing the district administration’s recommendations for the bond issue.

The line-by-line study led to discussions about everything from replacing carpeting to installation of aluminum window frames to new roofs.

The board has a Sept. 28 deadline to act on the bond recommendations presented by Superintendent Steve Rasmussen. As discussions moved forward, a proposal to install artificial turf at five schools continued to attract plenty of discussion.

Rasmussen’s plan has the district installing the new turf at a cost of about $1.3 million per school. Board President Jan Woldseth Colbrese said officials need to do a good job of explaining the reasoning behind the field improvements.

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Potential $227 million bond issue draws questions from school board

September 6, 2011

Equity and getting the best construction return for the district’s dollars seemed to be the underlying issues as the Issaquah School Board continued to debate a potential $227 million capital improvement bond issue voters might decide in February.

The board has a little less than a month to decide on the bond question prior to a Sept. 28 deadline. Toward the end of the discussion at the board’s Aug. 31 meeting, board President Jan Woldseth Colbrese said officials may schedule some extra talks in addition to those planned for the regularly scheduled September board sessions. One topic might be questions about whether officials have set their improvement sights too high.

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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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Issaquah School District may not wait for state to hike science requirements

August 23, 2011

State education officials have backed away from a requirement that all Washington high school students pass a biology proficiency exam in order to graduate.

But just because the state isn’t ready to move forward doesn’t mean the Issaquah School District can’t strengthen its science requirements, including possibly implementing a biology or general science proficiency test of its own.

At least that was the argument from a few Issaquah School Board members during their regular meeting Aug. 9. Board member Brian Deagle in particular said he was not willing to just drop, due to state inaction, the requirement that Issaquah school students prove some baseline scientific knowledge prior to graduation.

“This is an opportunity for our district to lead,” board member Chad Magendanz added.

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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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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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Few candidates face challengers in local races

June 14, 2011

Issaquah residents face a choice in a single City Council race, and a trio of council members appears likely to cruise to election unchallenged.

Challenger TJ Filley entered the race against incumbent Councilman Joshua Schaer on June 10, as the candidate-filing period closed.

Incumbent Councilman Fred Butler, appointed Councilwoman Stacy Goodman and candidate Paul Winterstein did not attract opponents for the other council seats up for election in November.

In the races for the Issaquah School Board, incumbents Brian Deagle and Suzanne Weaver face challengers in the nonpartisan races.

Deagle, a Sammamish resident, has served on the board since October 2006. Challenger Patrick Sansing, a Sammamish resident, is running against Deagle for the Director District No. 3 seat.

Weaver faces Maple Valley resident Joseph Arnaud and Issaquah resident Brian Neville to retain the Director District No. 5 seat. Weaver, a Sammamish resident, has served on the board since January 2007.

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Councilman, school board members face challengers

June 10, 2011

NEW — 6 p.m. June 10, 2011

Issaquah residents face a choice in a single City Council race, and a trio of council members appears likely to cruise to election unchallenged.

Challenger TJ Filley entered the race against incumbent Councilman Joshua Schaer on Friday, as the candidate filing period closed.

Incumbent Councilman Fred Butler, appointed Councilwoman Stacy Goodman and candidate Paul Winterstein did not attract opponents for the other council seats up for election in November.

In the races for the Issaquah School Board, incumbents Brian Deagle and Suzanne Weaver face challengers in the nonpartisan races.

Deagle, a Sammamish resident, has served on the board since October 2006. Challenger Patrick Sansing, a Sammamish resident, is running against Deagle for the Director District No. 3 seat.

Weaver faces Maple Valley resident Joseph Arnaud and Issaquah resident Brian Neville to retain the Director District No. 5 seat. Weaver, a Sammamish resident, has served on the board since January 2007.

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City Council, school board meet to discuss shared safety issues

May 31, 2011

School-zone construction, illegal skate-park activities are top concerns

With communication in mind, the Issaquah City Council and Issaquah School Board met May 26 to talk about issues that concern them both, including road construction near schools, illegal activities at the Issaquah skate park and whether the school board could televise its public meetings.

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