Renamed Whittaker trail honors American climbing legend

October 1, 2013

It may not be Mount Everest, but it’s still an honor.

King County Executive Dow Constantine stood with the first American to climb Earth’s tallest mountain to unveil new names for the Wilderness Peak Trail that winds its way up the southeastern side of Cougar Mountain Sept. 26.

Jim Whittaker, a Seattle native, whipped the burlap off the wooden signs that led the way to the new Jim Whittaker Wilderness Peak Trail and the Nawang Gombu Wilderness Cliffs Trail, named after Whittaker’s Sherpa, who braved all 29,000 feet with him. This year marks the 50th anniversary since the historic ascent. A year later, Gombu climbed to the summit again, becoming the first person to make the trip twice.

On a simple wooden bridge, extending over a calm stream, Tibetan prayer flags flapped as Constantine praised Whittaker and Gombu’s bravery.

By Peter Clark Jim Whittaker (right) kisses a picture of his deceased Sherpa partner Nawang Gombu as King County Executive Dow Constantine shares the moment. The two unveiled the new names of trails on Cougar Mountain after Whittaker and Gombu, who climbed Mount Everest 50 years ago.

By Peter Clark
Jim Whittaker (right) kisses a picture of his deceased Sherpa partner Nawang Gombu as King County Executive Dow Constantine shares the moment. The two unveiled the new names of trails on Cougar Mountain after Whittaker and Gombu, who climbed Mount Everest 50 years ago.

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King County will honor climbing legends Jim Whittaker and Nawang Gombu by renaming trails tomorrow

September 25, 2013

NEW — 1 p.m. Sept. 25, 2013

Join King County Executive Dow Constantine and mountaineering legend Jim Whittaker as King County honors Whittaker and climbing partner Sherpa Nawang Gombu for their historic ascent of Mount Everest 50 years ago.

Meet at noon Sept. 26 at the Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park, Wilderness Peak Trailhead, 10245 Renton-Issaquah Road S.E.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Whittaker-Gombu ascent of Mount Everest, when Whittaker, a Seattle native, became the first American to summit Earth’s highest mountain. It was also Gombu’s first ascent of Everest; a few years later, he became the first person to conquer Mount Everest for a second time.

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Voters pick county park bond, contenders for November election

August 13, 2013

King County voters approved the county park bond by a large margin and narrowed the field for the general election in November.

Votes will still be counted until the Aug. 20 certification, but as of the night of Aug. 6, the park bond passed with 68.9 percent of the vote.

For the owner of a $600,000 home, it will bring a tax increase from $79.86 per year to $112.62 per year, a 41 percent change. The levy will raise $60.7 million in 2014, which will be used for open space preservation, trail building and park improvements.

Since the current park bonds will expire at the end of this year, the King County Council sent a new six-year measure to the voters with a vote of 7-2. Councilwoman Kathy Lambert, representing Issaquah, Sammamish and Snoqualmie in District 3, and Councilman Reagan Dunn, representing Newcastle, Renton and parts of Issaquah in District 9, voted against it.

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Small Business Award calls for nominations

May 28, 2013

Small businesses have to work hard to keep ahead of the big box stores, and King County wants to recognize that.

Small businesses create two-thirds of the new jobs in the county, according to a press release from King County. For the third year in a row, King County Executive Dow Constantine is celebrating small businesses by asking for nominations for the Small Business Awards.

Businesses are eligible for nomination if they operate within King County, have 50 or fewer employees, and have been in business for at least three years. Cities, chambers of commerce, certain business organizations, and small business owners may nominate local firms that meet the criteria. Go to www.kingcounty.gov/smallbusinessawards to fill out the nomination form for your favorite small business. Nominations close July 15.

An average of 125 firms are nominated each year. Three finalist firms are selected in each of seven categories, and winners are announced at a ceremony attended by nearly 250 people from local chambers of commerce, cities and small business organizations.

 

 

King County executive to join local discussion of coal trains

May 7, 2013

Dow Constantine

Dow Constantine

King County Executive Dow Constantine will join a discussion of controversial coal trains, coal ports and their impact on the Pacific Northwest at the May 15 meeting of Democrats in the 5th Legislative District in Issaquah. The public is invited.

Constantine, who opposes the plan to ship coal from Montana and Wyoming through the Northwest to proposed ports at Cherry Point near Bellingham and Longview, will be joined by representatives of two leading opponents of the plan — Washington Conservation Voters and Power Past Coal, according to a press release from the 5th District Democrats.

The coal train meeting is the focus of the May 15 monthly meeting of the 5th District Democrats at Issaquah City Hall’s Eagle Room, 130 E. Sunset Way. Networking starts at 6:30 p.m.; the meeting starts at 7 p.m.

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