King County Council starts to delve into arena proposal

May 29, 2012

NEW — 11:55 a.m. May 29, 2012

King County Council members tapped a panel of experts to guide the council and offer independent analysis as officials review a proposal to build a $490 million Seattle sports and entertainment arena.

Council Budget and Fiscal Management Committee members held the initial hearing on the arena proposal Tuesday. Members discussed the timeline for arena construction and possible costs to taxpayers, in addition to the terms outlined in the proposal.

Committee Chairman Joe McDermott announced the expert panel. The panel is comprised of members versed in economics, public finance, public-private partnerships, labor, urban development and transportation.

“The panel’s participants have graciously volunteered their time and expertise to help us fully understand the benefits and risks of this proposal,” McDermott said in a statement. “This is a comprehensive panel — with skeptics among it.”

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King County Council committee to receive briefing on arena proposal

May 28, 2012

NEW — 6 a.m. May 28, 2012

The proposal to build a $490 million sports and entertainment arena in Seattle comes under scrutiny by a King County Council committee Tuesday.

Budget and Fiscal Management Committee members plan to hold the initial first hearing on the legislation outline the county role on the proposed arena near Safeco Field.

The hearing is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. in the County Council Chambers at the King County Courthouse. Citizens can watch the meeting live on King County TV, seen on Comcast and Broadstripe Cable Channel 22.

In February, investor Christopher Hansen presented to Seattle and King County a proposal to construct the arena to host NBA and NHL teams.

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King County Council to delve into $490 million arena proposal

May 22, 2012

King County Council members intend to scrutinize a proposal to build a $490 million sports and entertainment arena in Seattle to determine whether financing for the plan is feasible and if arena-related traffic could harm other businesses in the area.

County Executive Dow Constantine and Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, joined by investor Chris Hansen, a San Francisco hedge fund manager, on May 16 announced agreements between the county, city and the ArenaCo investment group to govern financing for a proposed arena near Safeco Field.

Construction could start after a professional basketball franchise is secured for the arena. Moreover, the public investment could drop if backers cannot secure a professional hockey team for the facility.

The amount of public support is capped at $120 million if organizers secure only the basketball franchise. The total could rise to $200 million if a hockey team is added to the equation.

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King County Council to scrutinize proposed arena package

May 18, 2012

NEW — 8 a.m. May 18, 2012

King County Council members intend to scrutinize a proposal to build a $490 million sports and entertainment arena in Seattle to determine if financing for the plan is feasible and if arena-related traffic could harm other businesses in the area.

County Executive Dow Constantine and Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, joined by investor Chris Hansen, a San Francisco hedge fund manager, on Tuesday announced agreements between the county, city and the ArenaCo investment group to govern financing for a proposed arena near Safeco Field.

The proposal heads to the County Council and the Seattle City Council for additional study.

The investment group intends to contribute $290 million to construction and more than $500 million to purchase a National Basketball Association franchise. Investors also hope to land a National Hockey League team for the arena.

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Councilman calls for county to ‘closely examine’ arena proposal

February 21, 2012

Reagan Dunn

King County Executive Dow Constantine and Seattle Mayor McGinn unveiled a proposed public-private partnership Feb. 16 to construct a Seattle arena for professional basketball and hockey teams.

The proposed arena — a $500 million facility, including $290 million from private investors — could host NBA and NHL teams in South Seattle near Safeco Field. Local elected leaders, including Issaquah-area County Councilman Reagan Dunn, lauded the proposal, but said the package needs additional scrutiny.

“As stewards of public money, we must closely examine any plan that seeks King County’s role in financing such a project,” he said in a statement. “I look forward to learning more about the proposal.”

Constantine and McGinn said investor Christopher Hansen, a Seattle native, sent a proposal to King County and Seattle to construct the arena. The executive and mayor also appointed a 10-member panel comprised of community leaders and finance experts to study the arena proposal.

If a memorandum of understanding can be reached among King County, Seattle and Hansen, the Seattle City Council and the King County Council could consider a proposal later in the spring.

Issaquah-area representative calls for King County to ‘closely examine’ arena proposal

February 16, 2012

NEW — 4:45 p.m. Feb. 16, 2012

King County Executive Dow Constantine and Seattle Mayor McGinn unveiled a proposed public-private partnership Thursday to construct a Seattle arena for professional basketball and hockey teams.

Dow Constantine

Reagan Dunn

The proposed arena — a $500 million facility, including $290 million from private investors — could host NBA and NHL teams in South Seattle near Safeco Field. Local elected leaders, including Issaquah-area County Councilman Reagan Dunn, lauded the proposal, but said the package needs additional scrutiny.

“As stewards of public money, we must closely examine any plan that seeks King County’s role in financing such a project,” he said in a statement after Constantine and McGinn announced the proposal. “I look forward to learning more about the proposal.”

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Where in the world is Our Gang Racing?

January 24, 2012

The Miss Red Dot, driven by Kip Brown, prepares for racing in the Oryx Cup World Championships in Doha, Qatar, in November. By Chris Denslow/H1 Unlimited

Local hydroplane team competes in the Middle East

There’s nothing quite like watching an unlimited hydroplane race.

The sleek boats travel at speeds of about 200 mph, kicking up massive walls of water (called rooster tails) in their wake, all while majestically skipping across the surface waves.

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Bob Blackburn, longtime voice of the SuperSonics, dies

January 12, 2010

Issaquah resident Bob Blackburn was the announcer for the Seattle SuperSonics. By Greg Farrar

Issaquah resident Bob Blackburn was the announcer for the Seattle SuperSonics. By Greg Farrar

Long before he was the Voice of the Seattle SuperSonics, Bob Blackburn was the voice for many people in the Vancouver-Portland area.

The Voice will be missed.

Blackburn, 85, died Jan. 8 of pneumonia. The Issaquah resident left a great legacy as a sportscaster. He spent 60 years on the air, calling more than 7,000 sports events, including 2,359 National Basketball Association games.

He is survived by wife Pat, six children, 19 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. A private memorial service will be held Jan. 23. The family will hold a public service at 3 p.m. Jan. 24 at First University Methodist Church in Bellevue. Read more

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