Issaquah City Council, school board candidates gather at forum

October 18, 2011

Candidates for local and regional offices offered prescriptions for counteracting the ailing economy and educating a 21st-century workforce at a forum Oct. 13.

Candidates for positions on the Issaquah School Board laugh at a joke during a candidate forum Oct. 13 at the King County Library Service Center. By Greg Farrar

Organized by The Issaquah Press and moderated by Publisher Debbie Berto, the forum attracted candidates for City Council, Issaquah School Board and Port of Seattle Commission.

The candidates, gathered at the King County Library System headquarters in Issaquah, answered questions in 40-minute sections organized by office.

The forum occurred days before King County Elections mails ballots, and as many voters start to pay attention to the off-year election. Election Day is Nov. 8.

Though the majority of council seats is up for election, only a single seat is contested. In the lone contested race, challenger TJ Filley faces incumbent Councilman Joshua Schaer for the Position 4 seat.

Incumbent Councilman Fred Butler, appointed Councilwoman Stacy Goodman and candidate Paul Winterstein did not attract opponents for the other positions.

In a far-reaching discussion about municipal issues — transportation headaches, economic development, ongoing efforts to regulate a medical marijuana operations and more — Filley and Schaer stuck to usual themes from the campaign.

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Issaquah, Port of Seattle candidates answer questions

October 13, 2011

Councilman Fred Butler (right) answers a question as council candidates (from left) TJ Filley, Joshua Schaer, Stacy Goodman and Paul Winterstein listen during a candidate forum Thursday. By Warren Kagarise

NEW — 11:30 p.m. Oct. 13, 2011

Candidates for local and regional offices offered prescriptions for counteracting the ailing economy and educating a 21st-century workforce at a forum Thursday.

Organized by The Issaquah Press and moderated by Publisher Debbie Berto, the forum attracted candidates for City Council, Issaquah School Board and Port of Seattle Commission.

The candidates, gathered at the King County Library System headquarters in Issaquah, answered questions in 40-minute sections organized by race.

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Local candidates meet for election forum Oct. 13

October 11, 2011

Hear from the candidates for City Council, Issaquah School Board and Port of Seattle at a candidate forum sponsored by The Issaquah Press.

The forum is meant to offer voters a chance to learn about local candidates as the clock ticks down to Election Day.

The forum starts at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 13 at the King County Library Service Center, 960 Newport Way N.W.

The forum is not a debate. Candidates offer opening statements to the audience and then answer a series of questions from reporters as Publisher Debbie Berto moderates the discussion.

Organizers also plan to collect questions from audience members for possible inclusion in the forum.

Starting Oct. 15, the forum is scheduled to air on Issaquah Channel 21 at 4 and 10 p.m. each day until Election Day, Nov. 8.

Issaquah gunman: ‘Something big is going to happen’

October 4, 2011

Investigators recovered 952 rounds of ammunition from shooter’s body

King County Chief Deputy Steve Strachan points to a picture of the ditch on the east side of Clark Elementary from where Ronald W. Ficker fired at Issaquah police officers Sept. 24. By Greg Farrar

Just before midnight on a Thursday last month, a man stopped at Issaquah City Hall and asked for assistance from a police officer.

The man, slender and balding, carried a handgun tucked into his waistband — unusual, perhaps, but not illegal. The responding officer approached and asked the man to turn over the weapon.

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Meet candidates for local, regional offices at forum

October 4, 2011

Hear from the candidates for City Council, Issaquah School Board and Port of Seattle at a candidate forum sponsored by The Issaquah Press.

The forum is meant to offer voters a chance to learn about local candidates as the clock ticks down to Election Day. King County Elections is due to mail ballots to voters in late October. The forum starts at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 13 at the King County Library Service Center.

The forum is not a debate. Candidates offer opening statements to the audience and then answer a series of questions from reporters as Publisher Debbie Berto moderates the discussion.

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Police locate Issaquah gunman’s abandoned car at airport

September 30, 2011

NEW — 6:15 p.m. Sept. 30, 2011

Port of Seattle police located Issaquah gunman Ronald W. Ficker’s abandoned car in a Seattle-Tacoma International Airport parking garage Friday, ending a six-day search for the missing vehicle.

Investigators started searching for Ficker’s silver Hyundai Accent not long after the gunman died in a hail of gunfire from Issaquah police officers Sept. 24. Ficker  rented a similar vehicle — a silver Kia Forte sedan — and drove to Issaquah.

Investigators said Ficker, 51, rented the Kia sedan at 11. a.m. Sept. 23 from a Seattle car rental counter near the airport. Police said he put about 450 miles on the vehicle before he abandoned the sedan at a downtown Issaquah intersection. (The vehicle has California license plates.)

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Port of Seattle race could shape region’s economic engine

September 27, 2011

In November, voters in King County, including those in Issaquah, will be asked to choose from among four candidates hoping to serve as commissioners for the Port of Seattle.

The port includes both the seaport in downtown Seattle and Sea-Tac International Airport. According to the port’s annual report for 2010, the port collected $75.6 million in property taxes in 2009. The projection for 2010 was $73.5 million. Those collections come from all King County residents, including those in Issaquah.

“The port is an economic engine for the entire county, not just the city of Seattle,” said Charla Skaggs, corporate media officer for the port.

Both Skaggs and other port officials said thousands of jobs depend directly and indirectly on port operations.

According to what is billed by the port as an independent report released in 2009, the port was directly and indirectly responsible for 190,000 jobs in the Puget Sound region. Port facilities generated more than $17 billion in revenue for businesses who deal with the port or the port tenants who operate the maritime terminals. All in all, those employers and employees pay about $867 million in state and local taxes.

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Gypsy moth traps dot area as state hunts for insect invaders

August 30, 2011

Hung from the trunk of at least one tree on Issaquah’s Front Street South near Our Savior Lutheran Church, the bright green traps definitely can grab your attention.

State workers placed the traps, which look somewhat like triangular-shaped boxes, sometime in late July. And the traps are only harmful if you happen to be a gypsy moth, said Mike Louisell, a public information officer with the state Department of Agriculture.

All in all, according to the state, some 20,000 gypsy moth traps went up around Washington in the last month or so. They are a key part of an annual effort to prevent gypsy moths from establishing themselves in Washington. The traps are hung annually in residential areas, as well as business districts and rural stretches.

Louisell said the traps are put up somewhat randomly, that the presence of the traps doesn’t necessarily mean the presence of gypsy moths. Because of its size and some risk factors, King County gets a large number of the traps. Those risk factors include the Port of Seattle, Louisell said. The unwanted moths easily can end up as stowaways aboard incoming ships.

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Few candidates face challengers in local races

June 14, 2011

Issaquah residents face a choice in a single City Council race, and a trio of council members appears likely to cruise to election unchallenged.

Challenger TJ Filley entered the race against incumbent Councilman Joshua Schaer on June 10, as the candidate-filing period closed.

Incumbent Councilman Fred Butler, appointed Councilwoman Stacy Goodman and candidate Paul Winterstein did not attract opponents for the other council seats up for election in November.

In the races for the Issaquah School Board, incumbents Brian Deagle and Suzanne Weaver face challengers in the nonpartisan races.

Deagle, a Sammamish resident, has served on the board since October 2006. Challenger Patrick Sansing, a Sammamish resident, is running against Deagle for the Director District No. 3 seat.

Weaver faces Maple Valley resident Joseph Arnaud and Issaquah resident Brian Neville to retain the Director District No. 5 seat. Weaver, a Sammamish resident, has served on the board since January 2007.

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Councilman, school board members face challengers

June 10, 2011

NEW — 6 p.m. June 10, 2011

Issaquah residents face a choice in a single City Council race, and a trio of council members appears likely to cruise to election unchallenged.

Challenger TJ Filley entered the race against incumbent Councilman Joshua Schaer on Friday, as the candidate filing period closed.

Incumbent Councilman Fred Butler, appointed Councilwoman Stacy Goodman and candidate Paul Winterstein did not attract opponents for the other council seats up for election in November.

In the races for the Issaquah School Board, incumbents Brian Deagle and Suzanne Weaver face challengers in the nonpartisan races.

Deagle, a Sammamish resident, has served on the board since October 2006. Challenger Patrick Sansing, a Sammamish resident, is running against Deagle for the Director District No. 3 seat.

Weaver faces Maple Valley resident Joseph Arnaud and Issaquah resident Brian Neville to retain the Director District No. 5 seat. Weaver, a Sammamish resident, has served on the board since January 2007.

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