Washington officials split along party lines in responses to State of the Union address

January 31, 2012

Gov. Chris Gregoire and Washington lawmakers split along party lines in response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address.

Dave Reichert

In a forceful speech to a joint session of Congress on Jan. 24, Obama laid out proposals for “green” energy, job creation and tax reform. (The president is due to visit Seattle on Feb. 17.)

“I’m pleased that President Obama, like me and my gubernatorial colleagues, has put a strong emphasis on rebuilding our middle class and preserving jobs that our citizens deserve,” Gregoire said in a statement. “He knows no challenge is more urgent. We must rebuild a nation where every citizen has the opportunity to succeed, where our middle class is secure and where the American dream is still within reach.”

The governor, a Democrat, attended the speech as U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s guest. Pelosi, a California Democrat, is the minority leader in the House of Representatives.

The lawmaker for the 8th Congressional District, Republican Dave Reichert, said the speech contained “divisive rhetoric.” (The district includes Issaquah, plus communities in eastern King and Pierce counties.)

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Washington officials split along party lines in responses to State of the Union address

January 25, 2012

NEW — 2:30 p.m. Jan. 25, 2012

Gov. Chris Gregoire and Washington lawmakers split along party lines in response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address.

In a forceful speech to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday, Obama laid out proposals for “green” energy, job creation and tax reform. (The president is due to visit Seattle on Feb. 17.)

“I’m pleased that President Obama, like me and my gubernatorial colleagues, has put a strong emphasis on rebuilding our middle class and preserving jobs that our citizens deserve,” Gregoire said in a statement. “He knows no challenge is more urgent. We must rebuild a nation where every citizen has the opportunity to succeed, where our middle class is secure and where the American dream is still within reach.”

The governor, a Democrat, attended the speech as U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s guest. Pelosi, a California Democrat, is the minority leader in the House of Representatives.

The lawmaker for the 8th Congressional District, Republican Dave Reichert, said the speech contained “divisive rhetoric.” (The district includes Issaquah, plus communities in eastern King and Pierce counties.)

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Local World War II veterans receive Congressional Gold Medal

November 2, 2011

NEW — 2:55 p.m. Nov. 2, 2011

Japanese-American World War II veterans from Issaquah and more then 30 others from Washington received the Congressional Gold Medal — highest civilian honor in the nation — at a U.S. Capitol ceremony Wednesday.

The ceremony at the Capitol honored Issaquah recipients Roy H. Inui and Frank T. Matsuda, plus 31 other veterans from the Evergreen State. The occasion brought together hundreds of Japanese-American, or Nisei, veterans from across the United States.

Congress bestows the Congressional Gold Medal for outstanding service to the nation. The ceremony at the Capitol honored members of the U.S. Army’s 100th Infantry Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team and Military Intelligence Services.

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City lowers flags to commemorate Arizona shooting victims

January 10, 2011

NEW — 6 p.m. Jan. 10, 2011

The city has lowered flags to half-staff at municipal buildings through Friday to honor the people killed in Tucson, Ariz., shootout Saturday.

The shootout left six people dead and 14 others injured, including Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, a Democrat re-elected to a third term in November. Giffords remain in critical condition at a Tucson hospital.

The incident prompted condemnation from local and Washington state elected officials.

“We don’t know yet whether the politically-charged use of gun imagery targeting the congresswoman contributed to this despicable shooting, but the congresswoman herself warned that such language and actions can have consequences,” King County Executive Dow Constantine said in a statement. “We as a community must condemn those who exploit the language of violence, and demand a more civil discourse in the public and political arena.”

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House passes arthritis bill

October 5, 2010

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the landmark arthritis bill, the Arthritis Prevention, Control and Cure Act, Sept. 30.

The act had 179 cosponsors, including Rep. Dave Reichert. There was no record of which representative voted yea or nay available at press time.

About one in five Americans lives with arthritis. If passed, the act would strengthen and expand federally funded programs, including arthritis research, public health initiatives proven to help arthritis patients and improve access to pediatric rheumatologists.

Next, the act heads to the U.S. Senate. Sens. Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray are cosponsors.

Issaquah arthritis advocates will celebrate the passing of the act at the Bellevue Arthritis Walk on Oct. 9. Learn more at www.arthritis.org.

Obama mentions Issaquah pizzeria at White House ceremony

September 29, 2010

NEW — 8 a.m. Sept. 29, 2010

President Obama offered another shout-out to Tutta Bella Neapolitan Pizzeria during a White House ceremony Monday, a little more than a month after he highlighted the Issaquah restaurant in a Seattle speech about small businesses.

Flanked by lawmakers and seated before a camera-toting audience of small business owners, Obama signed a small business assistance package. In remarks during the ceremony, the president referred to “Tutta Bella pizzeria in Seattle” as founder Joe Fugere sat in the East Room audience.

“I still haven’t tasted the pizza, but he promises I’m going to get some at some point,” Obama said.

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Arthritis ambassador promotes awareness

September 28, 2010

Peggy Timmins (left) and Alicia Seidel, both of Issaquah, meet with Congressman Dave Reichert to discuss the Arthritis Prevention Control and Cure Act. By Laura Geggel

Issaquah’s Peggy Timmins has lived all over the world, and she sees no reason to slow down now, even with arthritis plaguing her hips, toes, knees and fingers.

In spite of her maladies, Timmins plans to attend the third annual Bellevue Arthritis Walk, where she will share information from the Arthritis Foundation and raise awareness about the federal Arthritis Prevention, Control and Cure Act.

So far, Timmins has participated in the Kitsap, Tri-Cities and Tacoma arthritis walks, and at every venue she gathers more signatures in support of the act. Read more

Arthritis advocates take case to congressman

September 28, 2010

Congressman Dave Reichert listened to Issaquah residents Peggy Timmins and 11-year-old Alicia Seidel talk about their support for the Arthritis Prevention Control and Cure Act at his office Sept. 17.

Reichert, who is a co-sponsor of the bill, said he was there to listen, but said it was unlikely Congress would pass the act this session because of the budget deficit. Read more

Candidates gird for tough fight in House race

August 3, 2010

Less than 100 days before Issaquah and Eastside voters elect a representative to Congress, another high-profile campaign has taken shape as Democrats gun to unseat incumbent Dave Reichert.

Like the 2006 and 2008 contests, the race for the 8th Congressional District — the only Western Washington district represented by a Republican — has attracted outside money and outsized attention. In the latest match-up, Reichert faces Democrat Suzan DelBene, a former Microsoft executive and Medina resident.

But the leading candidates and political observers said the race differs from earlier matches.

“The message du jour this year is, ‘I’ll cross the aisle to get things done,’” Seattle political consultant Cathy Allen said.

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An advocate for arthritis

September 29, 2009

10-year-old named honoree for fundraiser

U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert, Alicia Seidel and her mom Cynthia pose for a photo during Alicia’s lobbying efforts for research funds during the 2009 Arthritis Advocacy Kids Summit in Washington, D.C. Contributed

U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert, Alicia Seidel and her mom Cynthia pose for a photo during Alicia’s lobbying efforts for research funds during the 2009 Arthritis Advocacy Kids Summit in Washington, D.C. Contributed

She swims, she plays soccer and she snowboards. By all accounts, Alicia Seidel is like many other 10-year-olds in the area: There’s just one difference — she has arthritis.

“I’m the only one at my school with arthritis,” said Alicia, an Endeavour Elementary School student.

“A lot of people know about arthritis, but they think it is something you get when you’re old,” said her mother Cynthia Seidel, who was also recently diagnosed with an arthritic condition.

Alicia is one of 294,000 children living with arthritis in the country. But she hasn’t let it slow her down. In fact, because of her determination and her message for research and a cure, she was named the honoree for Bellevue’s second annual Arthritis Foundation Walk Oct. 10. Read more

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