State superintendent releases plan to fully fund basic education

April 21, 2015

At an April 14 press conference, state Superintendent Randy Dorn released a plan to fully fund basic education costs, to help state legislators comply with a state Supreme Court mandate.

The state is under court order to produce a complete plan detailing how it intends to fully fund K-12 basic education without the use of local funding. Neither Gov. Jay Inslee nor the Legislature has introduced such a plan.

Read more

Editorial — Raise smoking age to 21 to save lives

March 31, 2015

Tobacco addiction is the leading cause of preventable deaths in Washington, causing about 8,300 residents to die each year. Annual health costs now surpass $2.8 billion.

The best way to combat this crisis is to raise the legal smoking age to 21, as the Washington State Legislature is considering with SHB 1458. Attorney General Bob Ferguson requested the bill, and science supports his efforts.

Read more

Education and roads key topics as state lawmakers visit area

March 17, 2015

State legislators descended on their Eastside jurisdictions March 14, holding open houses in Bellevue and Issaquah.

At Bellevue’s Somerset Elementary School, one main topic was education, with dozens of teachers outside, and later inside, carrying signs mostly declaring, “It’s time to fully fund education.”

Read more

Christopher Chen serves as a Senate page

March 17, 2015

Christopher Chen, a student at The Overlake School, recently spent a week working as a page for the Washington State Senate at the Capitol in Olympia.

Sen. Steve Litzow with page Christopher Chen

Sen. Steve Litzow with page Christopher Chen

Chen was sponsored by 41st District Sen. Steve Litzow.

Read more

County board supports raising age to purchase tobacco, vapor products

March 3, 2015

NEW — 6 a.m. March 5, 2015

The King County Board of Health has given its unanimous approval to a resolution, sponsored by board member Rod Dembowski, calling on the Washington State Legislature to pass legislation proposed by state Attorney General Bob Ferguson to increase the legal purchase age for tobacco and vapor products from 18 years to 21 years old.

The Washington State House of Representatives has passed the legislation out of the House Committee on Health Care & Wellness by a 12-3 bipartisan vote, while the bill is awaiting its first hearing in the Senate Commerce & Labor Committee.

The King County Board of Health consists of bi-partisan elected officials and several health care professionals from throughout King County. The board sets countywide policies and regulations to protect and promote the health of King County residents.

Editorial — Get money for traffic solutions, education

January 13, 2015

While it’s all well and good for city officials to try to get money from the state Legislature to ease congestion on Interstate 90, we think, and residents likely would agree, they should focus on congestion on city streets.

The congestion on I-90 was a main topic of conversation at a recent talk between city leaders and the area’s lawmakers.

Read more

Editorial — Reject Initiative 1351; election endorsements

October 28, 2014

Initiative 1351 is being called The Washington Class Size Reduction Measure. The name is intended to appeal to an electorate with short attention spans and little time for or interest in details. A recent Elway Poll revealed that 66 percent of those polled say they will definitely or probably vote in favor of Initiative 1351.

Read more

Issaquah schools budget set to receive slight boost

August 19, 2014

The Issaquah School District will receive an additional $5.4 million from the state government, which equates to revenue growth of less than 1 percent in the 2014-15 school year.

Public school districts and the state Legislature continue to battle over the McCleary decision of 2012, which said lawmakers weren’t fully funding basic education costs and called for them to rectify the situation.

The state increased funding by about $1 billion for its 2013-15 biennial budget, but that isn’t quite cutting it when it comes to meeting the requirements of the McCleary decision, school officials said.

“Though a billion dollars sounds like a lot, when you split it over two years and divide it by 295 school districts, you see it translates to a rather minute increase in the proportion of state revenue,” said Jake Kuper, the Issaquah district’s chief of finance and operations.

Read more

State unveils new online map of public lands

August 12, 2014

The state Recreation and Conservation Office recently unveiled a new online, interactive map of natural resource and recreation lands owned by government agencies.

The statewide map allows people to click on a location and learn which agency owns the land, the number of acres, the main use of the land and the cost of acquisition if acquired within the past 10 years.

Information is provided about land owned by cities, counties, the federal government and three state agencies — the state Parks and Recreation Commission, the Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the Department of Natural Resources.

Read more

Issaquah, Sammamish councils hold first joint meeting in years

July 22, 2014

Issaquah and Sammamish had the meeting equivalent of a group hug July 14.

After a year in which the two cities’ leadership have found themselves on different sides of several issues, both city councils and other city administrative staff met at Issaquah City Hall to discuss points of mutual interest. It was their first joint meeting since 2011.

“We all have one thing in common,” Issaquah Mayor Fred Butler said. “We certainly love our cities and we love representing them. We not only care about our communities, we care about the region as well.”

Read more

Next Page »