Celebration is May 10 for Squak Mountain land

April 8, 2014

A public celebration is set to commemorate preservation of 226 acres of high-quality forestland in the Issaquah Alps — the result of a partnership between King County and The Trust for Public Land.

The acquisition adds to King County’s Cougar-Squak Corridor parkland. The area was set for logging more than a year ago.

“Our partnership to protect Squak Mountain’s irreplaceable fish and wildlife habitat is cause for celebration,” King County Executive Dow Constantine said in a news release. “I want to thank The Trust for Public Land and the people of King County on behalf of generations who will enjoy hiking, viewing wildlife and other recreation in this forest.”

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Nominations sought for Earth Heroes program

March 4, 2014

King County wants to honor the very best students, teachers, staff, school volunteers, programs and even entire schools that contribute to student environmental education and environmental protection, through the county’s Earth Heroes at School awards program.

Nominations for the 2014 Earth Heroes at School are due March 10; winners will be honored at an event this spring. Earth Heroes can be nominated by colleagues, classmates and the public. Self-nominations are also encouraged.

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New county program will house, stabilize up to 350 families

February 11, 2014

A new pilot program will move as many as 350 homeless families in King County into rental housing by Dec. 31, 2014, and provide a range of short duration support services to help those families achieve stability.

More than $3.1 million will be dedicated to the pilot over the course of the next year.

The pilot program, Rapid Rehousing for Families, will provide short-term financial assistance and temporary housing-focused supports, including employment and training services, to help remove the barriers that hinder homeless families from accessing and maintaining housing. The program is designed to resolve the housing crisis, while also working with families to move toward independence.

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County library system director steps down

December 24, 2013

Bill Ptacek, longtime director of the King County Library System, announced Dec. 19 that he would step down to take a similar position in Alberta, Canada.

Ptacek, who has led KCLS since 1989, will leave to become CEO of the Calgary Public Library on Feb. 1.

During his 25-year tenure, Ptacek’s vision for technology and collection management kept the library system in the forefront of public libraries nationally.

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Grants offered for projects helping
 unincorporated areas

November 5, 2013

King County is offering a third year of Community Service Area grants. The grants encourage residents in the unincorporated communities to become more connected in their neighborhoods.

A total of $60,000 is available through the program for projects, with grants of less than $5,000. Examples of possible projects are:

  • newsletters that inform residents about important issues affecting the community;
  • events such as concerts, festivals, and educational and safety projects;

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King County launches disaster preparedness program

November 5, 2013

King County Executive Dow Constantine recently launched the Resilient King County initiative, a countywide, two-year planning process for crafting a comprehensive long-term recovery strategy following a major earthquake or other catastrophe.

The effort kicked off last month with a Disaster Recovery – CEO Leadership Summit. Representatives from the corporate and nonprofit sectors gathered on the Microsoft campus in Redmond to discuss the impact a major disaster would have on the region.

Numerous studies show the Pacific Northwest faces a high probability of a mega-earthquake in the next 50 years. Resilient King County is one of the first long-term regional recovery planning efforts in the nation.

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Boundary Review Board approves Klahanie annexation vote

October 11, 2013

NEW — 1:10 p.m., Oct. 11 2013

In quick order, the King County Boundary Review Board unanimously gave preliminary approval to Issaquah’s annexation request for the Klahanie area Oct. 10.

Two long meetings were held last month where government representatives from Issaquah and Sammamish were joined by a slew of public opinion on the proposed annexation. The Boundary Review Board took the information given and returned with a decision for Klahanie voters to vote on whether Issaquah should include them in its borders.

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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 approve park bond, narrow contenders for November election

August 6, 2013

NEW — 8:30 p.m., Aug. 6, 2013

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

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Pesticide free-yards sought

May 28, 2013

King County and Washington Toxics Coalition are offering Pesticide Free Zone ladybug signs free to families gardening without pesticides.

Families can take a pledge and receive a sign to recognize their efforts. The round sign has a ladybug on it and proclaims the lawn as a “pesticide free zone.” Sign the pledge to get your yard sign at http://bit.ly/15nBYo5.

More than 800 public places in King County are pesticide free. “Pesticide free” means that no chemical pest controls are used. However, the coalition is allowing the use of products that are allowed in organic agriculture, in the hopes of encouraging companies to develop safer products.

 

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