Voters overwhelmingly renew Veterans and Human Services Levy

August 23, 2011

The popular Veterans and Human Services Levy garnered overwhelming support from King County voters Aug. 16, as the electorate renewed the measure through 2017.

The levy is expected to generate about $100 million for programs to aid veterans and needy residents. The funding is split 50-50 between veterans programs and human services efforts.

“The citizens of King County have demonstrated their respect for our veterans and compassion for our neighbors most in need by voting to renew the Veterans and Human Services Levy,” County Executive Dow Constantine, a levy supporter, said in a statement late Aug. 16.

“I thank the voters for approving the levy and showing, once again, that King County is an extraordinary community in which to live.”

The measure, Proposition 1, garnered more than 60 percent of the vote in the initial results King County Elections released last week. The elections office is due to certify the results Aug. 31.

The measure garnered broad support from human services organizations and advocates for veterans. The county Voters’ Guide, in fact, did not include any statements opposing Proposition 1. Even the County Council put the measure on the ballot in a unanimous decision.

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Highlands Soccer Club reforms

August 23, 2011

The Highlands Soccer Club has reincorporated its nonprofit organization as the Community Sports Education Program, making the change from recreational club to educational organization last month.

The goal is, by using the success of the Highlands Soccer Club as a model, to one day have a program any neighborhood could use as a template to create its own community-based sports program.

“Schools are just too cash strapped, they’re just not teaching the sports like they used to,” said Umit Gokce, founder, director and coaching coordinator for the Community Sports Education Program. “The idea is to get communities involved.”

The organization’s new mission is “to help public communities start and manage their own volunteer-based sports education program benefiting children and adults with a factual understanding of technique, motivation and nutrition through the use of electronic learning materials and on-field instruction.”

Gokce, a technology entrepreneur, has focused on interactive education for 20 years.

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Veterans and Human Services Levy appears certain to pass

August 16, 2011

NEW — 8:16 p.m. Aug. 16, 2011

King County voters offered strong support Tuesday for renewing the county Veterans and Human Services Levy until 2017.

The measure, Proposition 1, garnered 66 percent of the vote in the initial round of results King County Elections released just after 8 p.m.

The figure is expected to shift in the coming days as the elections office receives and counts more ballots, but the measure appears certain to pass. The initial tally released Tuesday night encompassed 208,833 ballots.

The levy renewal is projected to generate $100 million through 2017. The funding is split 50-50 among programs for veterans and the neediest residents in King County.

The electorate approved the initial Veterans and Human Services Levy — 5 cents per $1,000 of assessed value — to fund programs for veterans and social service efforts in 2005. The existing levy is due to expire Dec. 31.

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YWCA Family Village at Issaquah opens

August 16, 2011

Lizzie Webb stands aside the railing to top-floor residences at her apartment building looking over the YWCA Family Village at Issaquah and a view of Squak and Cougar mountains. By Greg Farrar

The airy apartment on the top floor at YWCA Family Village at Issaquah, a long-planned affordable housing complex, is a refuge for Lizzie Webb.

The longtime Issaquah resident relocated to the complex before anyone else, in late May, and created a sanctuary from domestic abuse in the cozy space.

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Voters to decide King County veterans-and-human-services levy

August 9, 2011

Measure funds Issaquah programs for teenagers, parents

King County voters decide the future of a county veterans-and-human-services levy soon, and as Election Day nears, recipients of levy dollars demonstrated how the measure impacts Issaquah and other communities.

The electorate approved the initial veterans-and-human-services levy — 5 cents per $1,000 of assessed value — to fund programs for veterans and social service efforts in 2005. The measure, Proposition 1, is up for renewal on the Aug. 16 ballot.

If passed, the levy renewal is projected to generate $100 million through 2017. The funding is split 50-50 among programs for veterans and the neediest residents in King County.

Proposition 1 matches the existing levy and does not include additional taxes. The owner of a home assessed at $340,000 is expected to pay $17 in 2012 if the levy is renewed. (The existing levy is due to expire Dec. 31.)

Proposition 1 receives broad support from human services organizations and advocates for veterans. The measure received unanimous support on the often-contentious council. The county Voters’ Guide does not include any statements against Proposition 1.

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Press Editorial

August 9, 2011

Vote yes — again — for Proposition 1

Feeling charitable to those who have no job, are living on the streets or need parenting education? King County has made it easy to help, but first you need to get out your ballot and agree to continue Proposition 1, the veterans-and-human-services levy. The owner of a $400,000 home will be donating $20 per year, via their property taxes, if the ballot measure passes.

The levy was first approved in 2005. To the County Council’s credit, voters are asked only to approve the same amount, at 5 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation, although the case could certainly have been made for more, knowing that the need is greater than ever.

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Construction progresses on highlands townhouses

July 5, 2011

Homebuilder Pulte Homes has started construction on the $20 million Sunset Walk project in the Issaquah Highlands.

Plans call for Sunset Walk to feature 70 two- and three-story townhouses ranging from 1,460 square feet to 2,055 square feet. Sunset Park is located near the neighborhood.

Groundwork on the 5.86-acre project started in early June. The developer estimates model homes could be ready for tours as early as January.

“Issaquah Highlands is one of the most sought-after places to live in the area, one of the last true master-planned communities, and Pulte Homes is thrilled to become part of it,” Frank Anderson, Pulte Homes vice president of land acquisition, said in a news release. “Adjacent to a beautiful park, in a diverse and thriving community, with great schools, and close to high quality employment — this neighborhood is a terrific fit for people looking for a great new home community in the Northwest.”

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Homebuilder starts construction on highlands residences

June 8, 2011

NEW — 2 p.m. June 8, 2011

Homebuilder Pulte Homes has started construction on the $20 million Sunset Walk project in the Issaquah Highlands, developers announced Wednesday.

Plans call for Sunset Walk to feature 70 two- and three-story townhouses ranging from 1,460 to 2,055 square feet. Sunset Park is located near the neighborhood.

Groundwork on the 5.86-acre project started in early June. The developer estimates model homes could be ready for tours as early as January 2012.

“Issaquah Highlands is one of the most sought-after places to live in the area, one of the last true master planned communities, and Pulte Homes is thrilled to become part of it,” Frank Anderson, Pulte Homes vice president of land acquisition, said in a news release. “Adjacent to a beautiful park, in a diverse and thriving community, with great schools, and close to high quality employment — this neighborhood is a terrific fit for people looking for a great new home community in the Northwest.”

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YWCA construction prompts street closure

May 31, 2011

Prepare for a nighttime street closure as crews install a pedestrian bridge from the YWCA Family Village at Issaquah to the Issaquah Highlands Park & Ride.

The project is scheduled to take place at 12:30 a.m. June 8. The installation is not expected to last more than two hours.

Due to the detour of Highlands Drive Northeast onto Ninth Avenue Northeast between Northeast High Street and the north end of Ninth Avenue, work must take place at night. In addition, crews and King County Metro Transit had to coordinate around bus schedules.

The contractor plans to notify residents within 500 feet of the project site.

Bellevue homebuilder purchases 48 Issaquah Highlands lots

May 31, 2011

Taylor Development, a Bellevue-based real estate firm, is joining Issaquah Highlands developer Port Blakely Communities to foster development in the Harrison Street neighborhood, a ritzy collection of custom homes perched on Grand Ridge.

The real estate firm purchased 48 lots in the neighborhood for $6.36 million. Taylor Development and Port Blakely announced the deal May 23.

The sale encompasses more than half of the lots along Harrison Street. The neighborhood includes about 90 home sites. So, far 35 have been sold, and of those, 24 are completed or under-construction.

The neighborhood features a panorama — on clear days, at least — of the Bellevue and Seattle skylines, plus the Olympic Mountains.

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