Mayor, County Council recognize National Police Week

May 12, 2014

NEW — 4:25 p.m. May 12, 2014

Rich Herzog

Rich Herzog

The Metropolitan King County Council and Newcastle Mayor Steve Buri today joined municipalities across the country in recognition of National Police Week, which occurs May 12–18.

National Police Week recognizes the men and women who have fallen in the line of duty, a sacrifice the city of Newcastle understands firsthand.

King County Sheriff’s Deputy Richard Herzog gave his life in service to the community while protecting the citizens of Newcastle during the apprehension of a suspect in 2002.  Herzog had worked in Newcastle for several years and knew many of the residents and businesses. Read more

King County holds hearing about proposed Metro cuts

May 13, 2013

NEW — 3:05 p.m. May 13, 2013

The King County Council’s Transportation, Economy and Environment Committee will host a special May 14 meeting to hear public testimony about potential Metro Transit service cuts.

Metro is facing a $75 million budget shortfall due to a drop in sales tax revenue, and unless new funding becomes available, the agency will have to reduce the transit system by about 17 percent, which equates to about 600,000 service hours.

Potential service cuts could affect Newcastle routes. Bus route 114 could be eliminated, while route 240 could experience overcrowding and reliability issues if the cuts go through, according to the King County Metro Transit website.

The hearing takes place May 14 in Seattle at Union Station, 401 S. Jackson St. An open house begins at 3:30 p.m., and then testimony starts at 4 p.m. Read more

Voters to decide dollars for juvenile justice center

July 23, 2012

NEW — 3:20 p.m. July 23, 2012

King County voters could decide next month to increase the property tax rate in order to prepare the criminal justice system for the decades ahead.

The ballot measure Proposition 1 asks voters to approve a $200 million property tax levy to fund a replacement for the aging Youth Services Center, a juvenile detention facility in Seattle.

“We have a fairly good court system. We have a good prosecution office. We have good sheriff’s deputies. But this facility is the leak in the pipeline,” King County Councilman Reagan Dunn said in a July 13 interview. “For criminal justice to work effectively — especially with the increase in crime we’re seeing right now — all aspects of that pipeline need to be operating effectively.”

Dunn is Newcastle’s representative on the council.

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King County voters to decide $200 million property tax hike

May 3, 2012

King County voters could decide to increase the property tax rate to construct a juvenile detention facility, county leaders decided April 16.

In a unanimous decision, King County Council members placed a $200 million property tax levy on the Aug. 7 ballot to fund a replacement for the aging Youth Services Center, a juvenile detention facility in Seattle. The facility is a collection of decaying buildings. Officials said the electrical, plumbing, and heating and cooling infrastructure is beyond repair.

If the nine-year levy is placed on the ballot and passed, homeowners should pay about 7 cents per $1,000 of assessed value, or about $20 per year for a home assessed at $350,000.

Judges and commissioners at the juvenile court on site handle 3,700 cases per year at the detention facility. The complex houses about 65 children and teenagers from throughout the county.

Councilman Reagan Dunn, Newcastle’s representative on the council, said the proposal reflects the lean economic reality.

“I think that it is proportionally and appropriately sized given the need,” he said before the council decision. “We all know the facility is desperately in need of repair.”

(Dunn represents rural areas south of Issaquah and Newcastle on the council.)

In 2010, voters rejected a broader sales tax package meant to raise dollars for criminal justice services and replace the Youth Services Center.

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King County voters to decide $200 million levy for juvenile detention facility

April 16, 2012

NEW — 4:45 p.m. April 16, 2012

King County Council members decided Monday to put a $200 million property tax levy to construct a juvenile detention facility on the August ballot.

The proposal is to fund a replacement for the aging Youth Services Center, a juvenile detention facility in Seattle. The facility is a collection of decaying buildings constructed in the 1950s, 1970s and 1990s. Officials deemed the electrical, plumbing, and heating and cooling systems as beyond repair.

Judges and commissioners at the juvenile court on site handle 3,700 cases per year at the detention facility. The complex houses about 65 children and teenagers from throughout the county.

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Councilman proposes additional tools to combat gangs

April 9, 2012

NEW — 4:50 p.m. April 9, 2012

Reagan Dunn, Newcastle representative on the King County Council, outlined additional tools Monday to combat gang-violence.

Reagan Dunn

The proposed legislation calls for establishing anti-criminal street gang emphasis areas and allow judges to prohibit people convicted of gang-related crimes from entering areas of high gang activity.

In 2011, officials recorded 802 gang-related incidents countywide.

“Illegal gang activity is on the rise and has put our communities at risk,” Dunn said in a statement. “These ordinances will give law enforcement another tool to use against those suspected of gang-related activity. It’s a giant step in the right direction and I urge my colleagues to support its immediate adoption.”

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King County Council designates March as Deep-Vein Thrombosis Awareness Month

March 20, 2012

NEW — 10:25 a.m. March 20, 2012

King County Council members — led by Newcastle-area Councilman Reagan Dunn — sought to raise awareness of a life-threatening condition Monday, and proclaimed March as Deep-Vein Thrombosis Awareness Month.

Dunn, a local representative on the council, sponsored the proclamation to honor his late mother, former U.S. Rep. Jennifer Dunn. The elder Dunn died in September 2007 from a pulmonary embolism caused by deep-vein thrombosis.

“DVT awareness continues to grow in the public realm, but more needs to be done so people understand the signs and symptoms of DVT and can reduce their risk,” Reagan Dunn said. “In honor of my mother, I have worked across the country to raise awareness of this serious, yet preventable, condition.”

Jennifer Dunn, a former state GOP chairwoman, represented the 8th Congressional District in Washington, D.C., from January 1993 to January 2005.

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Newcastle-area councilman urges Legislature to create alert for police

February 23, 2012

NEW — 5:30 p.m. Feb. 23, 2012

Reagan Dunn

King County Councilman Reagan Dunn announced a plan Thursday to urge state legislators create a “blue alert” system to inform the public about people suspected of injuring or killing law enforcement officers.

The proposal came hours after a man fatally shot a state trooper in Kitsap County. Dunn plans to introduce a motion Monday urging the council to support state legislation to create a “blue alert” system.

“This tragic pattern of injury and death to law enforcement officers in Washington state simply cannot continue,” he said in a statement. “We in government must do everything in our power to protect those who put their lives on the line everyday in order to protect us.”

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Newcastle representative calls for King County to ‘closely examine’ arena proposal

February 16, 2012

NEW — 5 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 Newcastle 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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Dow Constantine emphasizes partnerships, prosperity in State of the County address

February 7, 2012

NEW — 10:25 a.m. Feb. 7, 2012

King County is akin to the Oakland A’s depicted in the film “Moneyball” — nimble and unconventional — County Executive Dow Constantine declared Monday.

Constantine, in the annual State of the County address, used the baseball team to illustrate a recent effort to streamline county government.

“The county used to be a little like the New York Yankees. Its first response to a problem was to throw money at it,” he said. “Now we’re more like the 2002 Oakland A’s depicted in ‘Moneyball’ – smart and scrappy. Finding inefficiencies in the established system – seeking out the highest performance at the lowest-possible cost. Getting the best value.”

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