Levies could fund Cougar Mountain trailhead, other projects

January 15, 2013

King County voters could decide soon on dollars to complete the East Lake Sammamish Trail, add a Cougar Mountain trailhead in Issaquah, and continue funding parks and trails countywide.

Late last year, King County Parks Levy Task Force members unanimously recommended continuing a pair of six-year levies to support county-run parks, trails and open space. Voters overwhelmingly approved the most recent pair of park levies in 2007.

The voter-approved levies fund the bulk of park operations, but the property tax measures expire in December 2013. In June, King County Executive Dow Constantine convened the task force to explore options for future funding.

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Biography celebrates late U.S. Rep. Jennifer Dunn

January 15, 2013

The late Jennifer Dunn, a long-serving representative in Congress for Issaquah and other Eastside communities, is the latest subject in The Legacy Project, a state oral history program.

The book “A Woman First: The Impact of Jennifer Dunn” documents the trailblazing Republican’s career, life and legacy.

The biography is available as a hardcover book for $25 or free at The Legacy Project website, www.sos.wa.gov/heritage. (The hardcover book was printed with private funds.)

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Celebration launches book about late U.S. Rep. Jennifer Dunn

January 11, 2013

NEW — 6 a.m. Jan. 11, 2013

Leaders plan to gather in Newcastle on Saturday to honor the late Jennifer Dunn, a long-serving representative in Congress for Issaquah and other Eastside communities.

The occasion is the release of “A Woman First: The Impact of Jennifer Dunn” — a book about the trailblazing Republican’s career, life and legacy.

“Jennifer Dunn was a true trailblazer in Washington politics,” Secretary of State Sam Reed said in a statement. “Whether it was becoming Washington’s first female Republican Party chair or attaining a high leadership position in Congress, she reached impressive heights during her career.”

The book launch event is scheduled for 3-5 p.m. Jan. 13 at The Golf Club at Newcastle, 15500 Six Penny Lane. The scheduled speakers include Reed, former U.S. Sen. Slade Gorton, and radio talk show host and onetime gubernatorial candidate John Carlson.

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Martin Luther King Jr. celebration is Jan. 17

January 8, 2013

King County officials and employees plan to honor slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. in a community celebration Jan. 17.

Scheduled speakers at the event include King County Executive Dow Constantine and King County Council Chairman Larry Gossett.

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Leaders adopt changes to regional growth blueprint

January 8, 2013

The growth blueprint approved by King County Council members Dec. 3 is meant to strengthen protections for open space and farmland, officials said after the council adopted the latest update to the King County Comprehensive Plan.

The document guides growth in unincorporated communities, including Preston, Four Creeks and other areas just outside Issaquah city limits.

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Democrats dominate Issaquah voters’ choices

January 1, 2013

Strong get-out-the vote operation boosts candidates

Democrats dominated Issaquah in the November election.

City voters chose Democrats for every federal and statewide office on the ballot — sometimes by a broad margin and others by a handful of votes.

Issaquah overwhelmingly supported Democrats in the races for president and vice president, U.S. senator and U.S. representative, and every statewide office. Only incumbent Republican Steve Litzow, a 41st Legislative District state senator representing about half of Issaquah, earned support from a majority of voters inside city limits.

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King County to host Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration

January 1, 2013

NEW — 6 a.m. Jan. 1, 2013

King County officials and employees plan to honor slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. in a public celebration from noon to 1 p.m. Jan. 17.

The public is invited to join the celebration at The 5th Avenue Theatre in downtown Seattle. Scheduled speakers at the event include King County Executive Dow Constantine and King County Council Chairman Larry Gossett.

The celebration is scheduled to include musical performances by The Sound of the Northwest and opera soloist Cheryse McLeod Lewis, and the MLK Employee Singers.

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King County garbage disposal fee hike starts Jan. 1

December 21, 2012

NEW — 10 a.m. Dec. 21, 2012

Residents can expect to pay more for garage pick-up, and to dump garbage at transfer stations and drop boxes, after Jan. 1, as King County seeks to modernize the aging solid waste system.

The average residential customer putting out a single container of garbage for curbside collection per week is likely pay about 57 cents per month more as garbage haulers cover the disposal fees.

Haulers, such as CleanScapes and Allied Waste, pass along the rate increase to customers.

The fee for bringing solid waste to a transfer station or drop box is poised to increase from $117.42 to $129.40 per ton, including tax and a moderate risk waste fee. The minimum fee is due to increase from $20 to $22, including tax and the fee.

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Unincorporated King County residents avoid $20 roads fee

December 18, 2012

Residents in unincorporated King County — including Klahanie, Mirrormont and Preston in the Issaquah area and more than 200,000 people countywide — no longer face a $20 vehicle-license fee to fund road maintenance.

King County Council members dropped the proposed fee from the 2013 county budget, and approved the spending plan Nov. 13 in a unanimous decision. Instead, officials plan to lobby the state government for additional road dollars — a challenge as the state faces another budget shortfall next year.

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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King County leaders set legislative agendas

December 18, 2012

Transportation is a high priority as King County prepares to ask state and federal leaders for assistance to upgrade roads and other infrastructure.

King County Council members adopted legislative agendas for the state and federal governments Dec. 10.

The county is asking the state to create financing tools to allow local leaders to create revenue for the aging road system in rural and unincorporated areas.

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