Washington ranks near bottom for taxes per income

February 5, 2013

 NEW — 4 p.m. Feb. 5, 2013

Washington ranked near the bottom in state and local taxes paid per $1,000 of personal income in 2010, according to the most recent U.S. Census Bureau data published by the state Department of Revenue.

Washingtonians paid $96.08 in taxes for every $1,000 in income, the second-lowest rate in 50 years. Officials recorded the lowest rate in 2009 at $93.24 per $1,000 in income.

Even though 2010 taxes climbed higher than in 2009, Washington dropped a notch among the states from its 35th ranking in 2009 to 36th in 2010 because taxes in some other states increased more.

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King County carves unincorporated communities into service areas

July 20, 2012

NEW — 9 a.m. July 20, 2012

King County could carve unincorporated neighborhoods — including Four Creeks and Klahanie just outside Issaquah — into community service areas, if a plan proposed Thursday is put into action.

The proposal is the latest in a yearslong effort to change the way county government and unincorporated communities interact. King County Executive Dow Constantine characterized the effort as a reform measure to ease access to government for residents in rural and unincorporated areas.

“These new community service areas will provide a vehicle and a point of contact for residents to talk to county staff about the things they care about, like public health and public safety,” he said in a statement.

In a companion proposal, Constantine also introduced legislation to change the relationship among the county and the unincorporated area councils, a group of citizen-led boards responsible for relations between unincorporated area residents and the county government based in Seattle.

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Issaquah surpasses 31,000 residents in latest population estimate

July 3, 2012

Issaquah surpassed 31,000 residents in the past year, as population growth continues to inch upward after a decade of rapid expansion.

The latest tally from the state indicates Issaquah added 460 people last year to reach 31,150 residents. The state Office of Financial Management released the information June 25 for the period from April 1, 2011, to April 1, 2012.

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More drivers needed to take local seniors to medical appointments

July 3, 2012

Issaquah resident Catherine Swadley, 88, had open-heart surgery in November. As part of her recovery, she was advised to undergo physical therapy three times a week for three months, in Kirkland.

The problem: She wasn’t allowed to drive, let alone open heavy car doors.

“So I called Senior Services and they said they could provide drivers for me,” Swadley said.

These are not ordinary drivers, but rather volunteers who spend their time and gas contributing to the common good. Senior Services asks for small compensation (Swadley said she paid $6 each time), which goes to the nonprofit organization.

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Press Editorial

July 3, 2012

Fun facts for the Fourth

The Fourth of July can be much more than just a day of celebrating your patriotism, flipping burgers and watching fireworks. It can also be a day of impressing your friends and family with Independence Day trivia knowledge.

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Washington is No. 1 state for bicyclists — again

June 5, 2012

Washington is the Most Bicycle Friendly State again.

The ranking from the League of American Bicyclists honors a strong commitment to bicycling through policies and programs. The honor marks the fifth consecutive year the Evergreen State has clinched the No. 1 spot.

The league rates states based on bike-friendly legislation, policies and programs, education, places to ride and planning. Washington scored consistently high in all ranking evaluation categories.

“With support from the highest levels of government, (Washington) leads the nation in creating new bicycle infrastructure and using federal funds for bicycle and pedestrian projects,” the league noted in the announcement.

Statewide, the number of people bicycling has increased 116 percent in the past decade, according to U.S. Census Bureau figures.

The announcement came as Washington celebrated National Bike Month in May. The annual observance is meant to encourage citizens to bicycle to work, on errands and for recreation.

Washington is No. 1 state for bicyclists — again

May 29, 2012

NEW — 6 a.m. May 29, 2012

Washington is the Most Bicycle Friendly State again.

The ranking from the League of American Bicyclists honors a strong commitment to bicycling through policies and programs. The honor marks the fifth consecutive year the Evergreen State has clinched the No. 1 spot.

The league rates states based on bike-friendly legislation, policies and programs, education, places to ride and planning. Washington scored consistently high in all ranking evaluation categories.

“With support from the highest levels of government, (Washington) leads the nation in creating new bicycle infrastructure and using federal funds for bicycle and pedestrian projects,” the league noted in the announcement.

Statewide, the number of people bicycling has increased 116 percent in the last decade, according to U.S. Census Bureau figures.

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1940 Census data offers snapshot of Issaquah after Great Depression

May 8, 2012

1940 Census ledger from Issaquah

For historians around the world, including members of the Issaquah History Museums, April 2 was a big day.

Executive Director Erica Maniez had her own personal countdown going for that particular Monday, because after finally fulfilling the mandatory 72-year waiting period, records from the 1940 U.S. Census were released by the U.S. National Archives.

“It was interesting to see some of the old familiar families, and how the next generations down were living in their own households,” she said. “I’ve noticed quite a few people that I’ve known since I worked here who have since passed away, but I did know some people here that are still living.”

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Issaquah balloons from small town to boomtown

February 21, 2012

Most citizens did not need a decennial update from the U.S. Census Bureau to recognize Issaquah as a boomtown.

The dramatic increase in population is a recent phenomenon.

Issaquah started as a pinpoint on maps, a remote hamlet in the rough-and-tumble Washington Territory.

Even as Seattle boomed amid World War II and into the postwar era, Issaquah did not crest 4,000 people until the late 1960s.

The population growth continued at a deliberate pace until a Microsoft-powered population explosion caused Issaquah and other Eastside cities to expand as the last century barreled to a close.

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Milestones from the year 2011 reflect changes

December 27, 2011

Renewal defined the year, as the community paused after a population boom and economic bust — and positioned Issaquah for the decades ahead.

Milestones from the last 12 months offer contrasts.

Leaders opened showcases for “green” design and concluded a milestone effort to preserve Tiger Mountain forestland. Tragedy left indelible impressions, too, as a gunman menaced downtown pedestrians on a September morning and turned a school campus into a crime scene.

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