Three vie for King County District Court judgeship

July 22, 2014

A trio of part-time judges is competing to fill a King County District Court open seat.

Judge Linda Jacke has announced her retirement in the Northeast Division, which serves a large swath of the Eastside from Lake Washington in the west to the county line in the east, and from Newcastle and areas south of North Bend in the south to the county line in the north. The district also includes part of Bothell in Snohomish County.

Jacke’s courtroom is in Redmond, though there is no guarantee the new judge would sit there.

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Residents sue Cedar Grove Composting over odors

February 5, 2013

In Mirrormont, longtime homeowner Cathe Avila can no longer keep windows open at home, or walk black Labrador retriever Django in the neighborhood.

The problem, she said, is the odor from the Cedar Grove Composting facility in unincorporated King County between Issaquah and Maple Valley, about seven miles southwest of downtown Issaquah.

Avila said the odor is traceable to 2004, once Cedar Grove starting accepting food scraps for composting.

“Then, after that, the smell just started getting worse and worse,” she said.

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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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Rush for same-sex weddings sets marriage license record

December 11, 2012

Dow Constantine

In a milestone just after midnight Dec. 6, King County started issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, a month after Washington voters legalized same-sex marriage.

The county issued a record 623 marriage licenses between midnight Dec. 6 and 4:30 p.m. Dec. 8. The initial day set a record at 489.

King County Executive Dow Constantine issued the initial marriage license at 12:01 a.m. in a ceremony at the King County Recorder’s Office.

“Tonight you are making history,” he said to the initial group of 11 couples. “Not only our legislators, but the people of this state have said every person is entitled to equal treatment. This advances our law in the state of Washington, and brings us one step closer to that first ‘self-evident’ truth announced by our nation’s founders: that all are created equal.”

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King County Council adopts 2013 budget without roads fee

November 13, 2012

NEW — 4 p.m. Nov. 13, 2012

King County Council members dropped a proposed $20 vehicle-license fee to fund road maintenance and, in a unanimous decision Tuesday, approved the 2013 budget without the fee.

In September, King County Executive Dow Constantine proposed a $20 fee to fund road maintenance and storm response in rural and unincorporated areas. The decision to drop the proposed fee affects residents in unincorporated King County communities, including Klahanie, Mirrormont, Preston and other areas outside Issaquah.

Rather than creating a transportation benefit district in unincorporated King County, officials plan to lobby the Legislature for a comprehensive state transportation package to address road maintenance.

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Committee removes $20 roads fee from King County budget

November 8, 2012

NEW — 11:15 a.m. Nov. 8, 2012

The committee responsible for crafting the 2013 King County budget dropped a plan to charge unincorporated-area residents a $20 vehicle-license fee to fund road maintenance, officials announced Thursday.

The proposed $7.6 billion budget contains $685 million for the general fund — the source of dollars for elections, law enforcement and other basic government functions. King County Council budget team members said 73 percent of dollars from the fund go toward public safety and criminal justice programs.

The proposed budget does not dip into cash reserves or the county’s rainy day fund.

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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Shooting spree ends with suspect’s death

October 30, 2012

Deputies launched a manhunt in East King County on Oct. 27, after a man shot a woman in the May Valley area after shooting another man in Renton.

Police later found the suspect, 48-year-old Renton resident John L. McKay, dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Investigators said McKay stormed into his estranged wife’s Renton home at about 2:30 p.m. Investigators said he shot Tina McKay’s boyfriend, and pistol-whipped her daughter and her daughter’s boyfriend.

John McKay then drove to the home of his former mother-in-law, Linda Ryan, in the 13400 block of 209th Avenue Southeast in unincorporated King County south of Issaquah. (The house is about a block south of Southeast May Valley Road and about five miles southeast of downtown Issaquah.)

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Community mourns Frank LaSalata, judge at Issaquah Courthouse

September 11, 2012

King County District Court Judge Frank LaSalata, a judge at the Issaquah Courthouse, died Sept. 1 after a battle against cancer.

LaSalata, 60, served as a King County District Court judge in the Northeast Division since 2006. Before then, he served for eight years as a pro tempore, or substitute, judge in King and San Juan counties.

The legal community — other judges, attorneys and courthouse employees — remembered him as a fair-minded and hardworking jurist.

LaSalata also served as a volunteer for the King County Kid’s Court program — a nationally acclaimed program to assist child victims of sexual abuse.

Before being elected to the District Court bench, he practiced law as a criminal defense attorney in King and San Juan counties.

Community mourns Frank LaSalata, judge at Issaquah Courthouse

September 7, 2012

NEW — 2 p.m. Sept. 7, 2012

King County District Court Judge Frank LaSalata, a judge at the Issaquah Courthouse, died Sept. 1 after a battle against cancer.

Frank LaSalata

The legal community — other judges, attorneys and courthouse employees — remembered LaSalata as a fair-minded and hardworking jurist.

LaSalata, 60, served as a King County District Court judge in the Northeast Division since 2006. Before then, he served for eight years as a pro tempore, or substitute, judge in King and San Juan counties.

In 2009, district and municipal court judges throughout the state elected LaSalata to serve on the board of governors for the Washington State District and Municipal Court Judges’ Association.

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King County launches treatment court for veterans

June 26, 2012

King County officials celebrated the launch of Veterans Treatment Court on June 14, a milestone in the effort to direct veterans into treatment and services, rather than incarceration.

The combination of mental health issues, alongside post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injuries, can lead veterans into the criminal justice system. Officials said the Veterans Treatment Court offers a better route for nonviolent offenders.

The program, a part of Mental Health Court, is rooted in legislation adopted by the King County Council last year. Officials gathered at the King County Courthouse to launch the program.

The program is to receive future funding by the Veterans and Human Services Levy. King County voters renewed the property tax levy package in 2011 with almost 70 percent approval. Read more

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