October 23, 2012
Democrat Jay Inslee and Republican Rob McKenna clashed in a recent series of debates, but the candidates vying to serve as Washington’s next governor share similar positions on local issues, such as support for the state parks system.
The race at the state level is focused on the candidates’ policies on education and transportation — hot topics on the docket as Inslee and McKenna met in recent weeks.
The Issaquah Press asked the candidates about funding for state parks, salmon restoration and growth management — key concerns in Issaquah and the surrounding area.
October 16, 2012
The contest to lead the King County Sheriff’s Office could hinge on a series of audits into how the agency operates.
The sheriff oversees a budget of about $150 million and about 1,000 employees, and leads the largest local police organization in the state after the Seattle Police Department.
The contentious race pits Sheriff Steve Strachan, a former Kent police chief, against John Urquhart, a former sheriff’s office sergeant and spokesman.
King County Council members appointed Strachan as sheriff in April, not long after former Sheriff Sue Rahr resigned to lead the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission, or state police academy.
Though the election is to fill the Rahr’s unexpired term through 2013, the next sheriff faces a landmark effort to reform the agency in response to audits critical of policies put into place under Strachan’s predecessors.
Strachan, a SeaTac resident, served as a police chief and state legislator in Minnesota before accepting the Kent post in 2006. In the Minnesota Legislature, he helped pass legislation to reduce the blood-alcohol limit to 0.08 percent. Rahr tapped Strachan as the chief deputy, or No. 2 spot, at the sheriff’s office in early 2011.
September 1, 2012
NEW — 6 a.m. Sept. 1, 2012
Sound Transit and most King County Metro Transit buses operate on a Sunday schedule Monday for Labor Day.
If a route does not usually run on Sunday, then the route does not operate on the holiday, Monday. Riders should expect to pay holiday and Sunday fares on Metro bus routes on Labor Day.
Metro offices remain closed on the holiday, including the Customer Information Center phone lines. Customers should turn to Metro Online for updates about transit service.
Riders headed to Seattle should prepare for Bumbershoot at the Seattle Center. Use the Trip Planner to determine the best route.
July 3, 2012
Sound Transit received the highest possible ratings from major bond credit rating agencies June 27, despite a challenging economic environment.
Officials said the ratings mean savings for taxpayers in Issaquah and other communities served by the agency. Sound Transit is preparing to save at least $12 million by taking advantage of lower interest rates to refinance about $350 million of outstanding bonds.
In a June 28 decision, Sound Transit board members unanimously approved motions to set parameters to proceed with the transactions. Issaquah City Councilman Fred Butler serves on the board.
Moody’s Investor Service continued the Aa1 rating for Sound Transit’s senior bonds and the Aa2 rating for the agency’s junior “parity bond” obligations. The action maintains Sound Transit as one of the highest-rated transit agencies in the nation.
Sound Transit also carries the highest possible rating on both bond obligations, AAA, from Standard & Poor’s.
June 29, 2012
NEW — 4:30 p.m. June 29, 2012
Issaquah bus riders should prepare for Sunday schedules on July 4 as King County Metro Transit and Sound Transit observe Independence Day.
The holiday schedule means many Metro Transit commuter bus routes do not operate. Bus riders should be sure to check the schedule for individual routes in advance of the holiday. Sunday fares go in effect on all Metro Transit routes July 4.
Due to many holiday events starting over the weekend and continuing through July 4, riders should check for bus reroutes in the Metro Online Alerts Center under the Construction & Events heading. Or, sign up for Transit Alerts to receive news about specific routes.
In addition, all Metro offices, including the Customer Information phone lines, close for holiday. When the Customer Information Office is closed, most transit information is available on Metro Online, or in the online Trip Planner.
June 20, 2012
NEW — 10 a.m. June 20, 2012
Regional public transit agencies joined forces to encourage commuters to forgo $4-per-gallon gasoline Thursday for Dump the Pump Day.
Sound Transit, King County Metro Transit and other agencies asked commuters to board buses, trains and ferries for the national event. Organizers said more than 560,000 riders already use regional public transportation services.
Metro is reaching out to riders on Facebook to ask how they plan to dump the pump. In addition, 10 people can win a Dump the Pump T-shirt and a regional ORCA card loaded with $10. Organizers plan to select participants in a random drawing June 25.
May 24, 2012
NEW — 2 p.m. May 24, 2012
Issaquah bus riders should expect King County Metro Transit and Sound Transit scheduled changes Monday for Memorial Day.
Metro Transit operates on a Sunday schedule for Memorial Day. The transit agency is also offering special shuttle bus service Saturday through Monday to the Folklife Festival at the Seattle Center from the Northgate Transit Center and South Renton Park & Ride.
For Metro Transit service, if a bus route does not usually operate on Sunday, then no service is offered on Memorial Day.
Metro offices also close on the holiday, including the customer information phone lines. Use the Trip Planner for travel assistance.
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.
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.
May 15, 2012
City leaders, local businesses and the Cascade Bicycle Club invite bicyclists to celebrate Bike to Work Day on May 18.
The city is hosting a Salmon Friendly Commute Bike Station at the corner of state Route 900 and Northwest Sammamish Road from 6-10 a.m. Bicyclists can load up on snacks and water bottles to help fuel their trips.
Pacific Bicycle Co., a Sammamish bike shop, also plans to be on hand to do small repairs and answer questions.
Then, REI, Costco and the city plan to host a barbecue for bicyclists at Lake Sammamish State Park’s rotunda picnic area from 4-6 p.m.
May is National Bike Month.
Bicyclists using King County Metro Transit and Sound Transit ride free through May 18. The offer applies to any Metro Transit bus or ST Express bus operated by Metro Transit, including routes 554, 555 and 556 from Issaquah.