State House hopefuls headed for ’08 rematch in 5th District

August 24, 2010

The race to represent Issaquah and the 5th Legislative District is a 2008 rematch.

State Rep. Glenn Anderson and Democrat David Spring faced off in the last election. Spring fell short to the Republican incumbent by about 2,200 votes. They meet again in the November election.

Sammamish Democrat Dean Willard — the candidate endorsed by the local and state party — failed to advance beyond the Aug. 17 primary, despite raising more money than Anderson and Spring combined.

Fall City resident Anderson received 58 percent of the vote, compared to 25 percent for North Bend resident Spring. Willard received 17 percent.

The district includes Issaquah, North Bend, Snoqualmie and other Eastside communities.

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Local ‘Judge Judy’ rebuked in Time magazine piece

August 20, 2010

NEW — 12:05 p.m. Aug. 20, 2010

Judge Judith Eiler — the tough-talking King County District Court judge — has been reproached in a blistering piece in Time magazine.

Adam Cohen — a lawyer, former Time scribe and a past editorial board member at The New York Times — took Eiler to task for her brusque behavior on the bench.

The state Supreme Court rebuked Eiler in early August. Justices ordered Eiler to be suspended from the bench for five days without pay.

Eiler used to preside at the Issaquah Courthouse, but has since been reassigned to a district courthouse in Seattle. The court handles traffic infractions, small claims and some civil matters.

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State House hopefuls headed for ’08 rematch

August 18, 2010

NEW — 4:35 p.m. Aug. 18, 2010

State Rep. Glenn Anderson maintained a solid lead against Democrats David Spring and Dean Willard in election results released Wednesday afternoon.

Anderson received 58 percent of the vote, compared to 25 percent for Spring. Willard — the candidate endorsed by local and state Democrats — trailed at 16 percent.

The results set up a rematch between Fall City resident Anderson and North Bend resident Spring. The candidates faced off in 2008 for the opportunity to represent Issaquah and other Eastside communities. Spring fell short by about 2,200 votes.

In the neighboring legislative district, state Rep. Judy Clibborn held a double-digit lead over Bellevue Republican Stephen Strader, a first-time candidate. Clibborn, a four-term Democrat and Mercer Island resident, led in the contest, 53 percent to 39 percent.

Clibborn represents Talus, other Cougar Mountain communities and unincorporated King County in the Issaquah area.

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Established candidates lead in initial election results

August 17, 2010

UPDATED — 8:50 p.m. Aug. 17, 2010

Incumbent candidates outpaced challengers in the initial election results released Tuesday night.

The primary set up a showdown for a 5th Legislative District seat in the state House of Representatives, a competitive congressional race and a chance to elect a judge to the King County District Court bench.

State Rep. Glenn Anderson, a Republican, outpolled Democrats Dean Willard and David Spring. Anderson polled 58 percent, Spring polled 25 percent and Willard polled 16 percent.

Unless Willard pulls ahead as ballots trickle in during the days ahead, the race will be a rematch of the 2008 contest between Anderson and Spring.

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Unions agree to give up cost-of-living increases for county employees

August 16, 2010

NEW — 3:30 p.m. Aug. 16, 2010

Unions representing about 500 county employees agreed to forgo cost-of-living increases for next year, King County Executive Dow Constantine announced Monday.

Constantine and Washington State Council of County and City Employees President Chris Dugovich said the county and the union had reached a tentative agreement Monday morning. The union represents almost 500 District Court clerks, hazardous-waste workers, custodians and juvenile detention supervisors, among other employees.

“Our interest is in saving services for the public and preserving jobs for our members,” Dugovich said in a statement. “When a job goes away it is not likely to come back anytime soon. That hurts not only our members but the residents who depend upon the public services our members provide.”

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State suspends local ‘Judge Judy’ for ‘rude’ behavior

August 10, 2010

Judith Eiler

The state Supreme Court has suspended Judge Judith Eiler — the brusque King County District Court judge who has drawn comparisons to TV’s “Judge Judy” — from the bench without pay for rude behavior.

In a decision issued Aug. 5, Supreme Court justices ordered Eiler to be suspended for five days without pay. The judge used to preside at the Issaquah Courthouse, but has since been reassigned to a district courthouse in Seattle. Her caseload consists mostly of traffic infractions and small claims.

“Several litigants — and even some attorneys — reported being ‘embarrassed’ by Judge Eiler’s ‘degrading’ treatment, and feeling ‘mocked,’ ‘attacked’ and ‘uncomfortable’ in her courtroom,” Justice James Johnson wrote in the high court’s majority opinion.

Justices cited “voluminous testimony at trial documenting Judge Eiler’s rude, discourteous, undignified and demeaning treatment of the attorneys and pro se litigants who appeared before her, we find that clear, cogent, and convincing evidence” against her. Read more

Local ‘Judge Judy’ suspended for ‘rude’ behavior

August 5, 2010

UPDATED — 4:10 p.m. Aug. 5, 2010

The state Supreme Court has suspended Judge Judith Eiler — the brusque King County District Court judge who has drawn comparisons to TV’s “Judge Judy” — from the bench without pay for rude behavior.

In a decision issued Thursday morning, Supreme Court justices ordered Eiler to be suspended for five days without pay. Several of the incidents occurred during her stint at district court’s Issaquah Courthouse.

“Several litigants — and even some attorneys — reported being ‘embarrassed’ by Judge Eiler’s ‘degrading’ treatment, and feeling ‘mocked,’ ‘attacked’ and ‘uncomfortable’ in her courtroom,” the opinion states.

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Rural residents raise concerns about public safety cutbacks

August 3, 2010

County Executive Dow Constantine trekked east to Hobart — and into the sometimes-tenuous relationship between county government and rural King County residents — for a forum last week.

Constantine said unincorporated-area and rural residents stand to bear the brunt of looming cuts to county services, including King County Sheriff’s Office deputy layoffs and cutbacks to the county court system.

Contributed King County Executive Dow Constantine (left) addresses rural residents and the presidents of the six unincorporated area councils, including Four Creeks leader Tom Carpenter (far right), at a July 26 forum.

“There is significant disconnect between the cost of doing business and the dollars available,” he said during the July 26 meeting at Hobart Community Church. “We’re scrounging and scrapping to find ways to protect the quality of life for 2 million people in this county.”

Inside the overheated church, Constantine heard from leaders of the six unincorporated area councils — citizen groups elected by residents in regions as disparate as Vashon Island and rural Maple Valley. The unincorporated county is home to about 340,000 of the 1.9 million county residents.

The group includes Four Creeks, home to about 14,000 residents in a swath stretched between Issaquah and Renton. The area encompasses Maple Hills, May Valley, Mirrormont and other communities south of Issaquah city limits.

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Press Editorial

August 3, 2010

Judicial candidates are all well qualified

Though the congressional and legislative races on the Aug. 17 primary ballot have received the most attention, local voters must also decide important judicial contests. However, due to limitations on what judges can say during an election, it is often the hardest ballot decision for voters.

Perhaps the most important decision for Issaquah, Sammamish and other Eastside residents is the contest for a new King County District Court judge. Voters will pick someone to fill a new position created to address increasing caseloads.

The court handles some civil matters, misdemeanor crimes and traffic infractions, plus local violations caught by the Washington State Patrol and other state agencies. Because of the broad range of cases that come before District Court, judges serve a vital role as spokespeople for the judicial system. Read more

Judicial candidates prepare for Aug. 17 election

August 3, 2010

Voters will choose from three candidates in the Aug. 17 primary election for a King County District Court judge serving the Northeast Division.

Newcastle’s Donna Tucker, Mercer Island’s Ketu Shah and Redmond’s Larry Mitchell are running for the position. The county created the position last year to address a growing caseload.

The top two candidates from the primary will advance to the Nov. 2 general election — unless a candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote in the primary. In that case, he or she wins the election outright. Read more

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