State transportation system faces failure without reforms

November 19, 2013

Here we go again — talk of yet another special legislative session this year to pass a proposed $12.3 billion transportation tax package.

I will not support a tax proposal, which could include an 11 1/2-cent gas tax increase and a host of new and higher fees, while serious transportation project reforms are needed and folks are struggling to make ends meet.

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State of the County address outlines plans for infrastructure

February 5, 2013

NEW — 4 p.m. Feb. 5, 2013

King County Executive Dow Constantine outlined initiatives to curb gun violence, provide easier access to services for military veterans and family members, and enroll 180,000 uninsured residents into affordable health care.

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Dow Constantine

Constantine presented the proposals to the public and the King County Council on Monday in a State of the County address delivered at Seattle’s Museum of History & Industry.

In the address, Constantine said the county emerged strong from the challenges created related to the Great Recession, and said priorities for the year focused on the county’s future by strengthening human infrastructure — such as jobs, health care and veterans services — natural infrastructure — including efforts to address climate change, flood protection and environmental cleanup — and built infrastructure — such as maintaining roads and transit.

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King County Metro Transit works to ease bus crowding

January 29, 2013

King County Metro Transit is gathering public input on proposed schedule and route changes to routes along the Interstate 90 corridor, including routes serving Issaquah.

The shift is meant to ease crowding and improve travel times on peak commute routes.

The routes under consideration for changes include routes 210, 211, 214, 215 and 218 — routes serving Issaquah. The list also includes Sammamish-to-Seattle Route 216 and Eastgate-to-Seattle Route 212.

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Fred Butler enters race for Issaquah mayor

January 22, 2013

Fred Butler, a City Council stalwart for 13 years and a voice in important debates about the future of Issaquah, entered the race for mayor Jan. 17.

Fred Butler

Fred Butler

The contest could hinge on the vision for the decades ahead, as city leaders seek to position Issaquah for redevelopment and attract more jobs to the community.

Butler, 72, served on the council at major junctures in recent history, as members debated the defunct Southeast Bypass road link, how to preserve forested Park Pointe on Tiger Mountain and, late last year, a 30-year redevelopment blueprint called the Central Issaquah Plan.

“We are in the process of evolving from a small town to a small city, moving from suburban to urban,” he said in a Jan 17 interview. “Because I’ve been involved in a lot of the planning and the development of the urban villages and the Central Issaquah Plan, I believe I’m in a pretty good position to help implement the direction that we are going in.”

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King County Metro Transit aims to improve Issaquah bus service

January 22, 2013

NEW — 8 a.m. Jan. 22, 2013

King County Metro Transit is gathering public input on proposed schedule and route changes to routes along the Interstate 90 corridor, including Issaquah-bound routes.

The shift is meant to ease crowding and improve travel times on peak commute routes.

The routes under consideration for changes include routes 210, 211, 214, 215 and 218 — routes serving Issaquah. The list also includes Sammamish-to-Seattle Route 216 and Eastgate-to-Seattle Route 212.

Metro Transit identified the routes as among the busiest and most productive commuter routes in the transit network. Buses carry 5,000 to 7,000 Eastside commuters daily along the I-90 corridor to downtown Seattle and serve major transit hubs in the Issaquah Highlands, downtown Issaquah and Eastgate.

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Fred Butler launches campaign for Issaquah mayor

January 17, 2013

NEW — 6 p.m. Jan. 17, 2013

Fred Butler, a City Council stalwart for 13 years and a voice in important debates about the future of Issaquah, entered the race for mayor Thursday.

Fred Butler

Fred Butler

The contest could hinge on the vision for the decades ahead, as city leaders seek to position Issaquah for redevelopment and attract more jobs to the community.

Butler, 72, served on the council at major junctures in recent history, as members debated the defunct Southeast Bypass road link, how to preserve forested Park Pointe on Tiger Mountain, and late last year, a 30-year redevelopment blueprint called the Central Issaquah Plan.

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Editorial

January 1, 2013

2013 goals are imperative for Issaquah

Our news staff and editorial board put their heads together each year to create a list of 2013 goals for the Issaquah area. Some are repeats from former years, but are still waiting to be accomplished.

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City OKs buildings up to 125 feet tall in business district

December 25, 2012

Redevelopment plan calls for more than 7,000 residences

City leaders raised the building height limit to 125 feet in the business district and raised the stakes for redevelopment in the decades ahead.

The roadmap to redevelopment — a document called the Central Issaquah Plan — also creates a framework to add more than 7,000 residences on about 1,000 acres stretched along Interstate 90.

In a series of decisions reached Dec. 17 after years spent re-envisioning the business district, a relieved City Council adopted the Central Issaquah Plan, but delayed action on a key piece until at least April.

“It’s the right plan at the right time,” Councilman Fred Butler said. “It will not happen overnight, but when the time is right, we will be ready.”

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Snow causes few disruptions for Issaquah residents

December 25, 2012

Snow crept into forecasts in recent days, but aside from a dusting in higher-elevation neighborhoods and a delay for Issaquah School District students, winter weather did not cause significant disruptions in the area.

In response to slushy conditions on roads and some snowfall overnight, school district administrators delayed the start of school two hours Dec. 18. The day before, as forecasters issued a winter weather advisory for Western Washington, Issaquah and King County road crews prepared for snow.

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Expect reduced transit service on Christmas

December 23, 2012

NEW — 6 p.m. Dec. 23, 2012

Expect reduced transit service from Christmas Eve until after 2013 arrives, as King County Metro Transit and Sound Transit adjust schedules for the holidays.

Metro Transit operates on holiday and reduced weekday schedules Christmas week and during the New Year’s holidays.

The agency operates on reduced weekday bus service Monday, Christmas Eve, and on a Sunday schedule for Christmas. Then, transit goes to reduced weekday bus service from Wednesday to Friday.

Using a limited schedule over holiday periods from November through January is estimated to save Metro Transit about $1 million each year. The agency typically experiences a drop of about 15 percent in ridership during the holiday week.

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