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Bellevue Blitz Roundup: Leg Wrap Up coverage; EBA list of endorsements; Chamber Public Affairs Council to launch.

Posted By Chris Johnson, Monday, September 25, 2017

Leg Wrap Up coverage

The East King Chambers Coalition has been around for over 20 years, but this year’s legislative wrap up was one of the best ever. Once again, our panel was skillfully moderated by longtime friend of the Chamber, Randy Bannecker of Bannecker Public Affairs.

We heard a true diversity of opinion on issues such as the property tax funding package for basic education, future tax relief for emerging sectors such as biotechnology and whether autonomous vehicles and flexible van pools can help reduce congestion.

For news coverage of this event and terrific photos, please see the following story in the Snoqualmie Valley Record, republished with permission of Sound Publishing.

Eastside Business Alliance list of endorsements

As a possible national economic slowdown appears around the corner, the Eastside Business Alliance is supporting a new direction on the Bellevue Council, one that will focus on preserving core services, while limiting Council spending on new initiatives and keeping both the cost of government and tax rates low.

EBA has endorsed the following candidates, which offered the strongest statements in support of business-friendly public policies.

  • Bellevue City Council, Position 2: Conrad Lee
  • Bellevue City Council, Position 4: Jared Nieuwenhuis
  • Bellevue City Council, Position 5: Phillip Yin
  • Bellevue City Council, Position 6: Steve Fricke

Support these and other pro-business candidates, by making an online contribution to the Eastside Business Alliance.

Chamber Public Affairs Council to launch

After a summer hiatus, your Chamber advocacy programs are back with a new look and feel. Please join us on Thursday, October 12 at Noon, as we launch the new Chamber Public Affairs Council. We’ve combined two previous committees into one and plan to take on a broader range of topics, relating to what makes our community vital.

Mark your calendars for the following events:

  • Everything bike and pedestrian in Bellevue - Thursday, October 12, Noon
  • Sound Transit East Link construction update - Thursday, November 2, Noon   

The Public Affairs Council will generally meet on the third Thursday of the month at Noon; November 2nd will be an exception. All meetings will occur at the Chamber office in the Microsoft Business Center.

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Bellevue Blitz Roundup: Bellevue bike share survey; Students back on the road; Program to reduce neighborhood cut-through traffic

Posted By Chris Johnson, Monday, September 11, 2017

Bellevue bike share survey

In preparation for our October briefing on Bellevue’s Bike Rapid Implementation Plan, we invite you to learn more about bike share programs already underway in cities across the nation. In addition to checking out and returning bikes to fixed locations, users can utilize GPS technology to return their bikes to designated hubs or existing bike racks.

Would you like to see a bike share program in DT Bellevue? Do you have stories to relate about bike share programs in other cities? Take the City of Bellevue’s bike share survey today.

Students back on the road

Classes began in the Bellevue School District nearly two weeks ago, so please pay attention to flashing lights around school zones and observe the 20 mph speed limit. Protect the safety of our school children by paying attention when driving near schools, coming to a full stop at school bus stops, and always keeping an eye out for pedestrians, especially at crosswalks.

If you have school-aged children or grandchildren, you can contribute to safety and reduce congestion near schools, by encouraging family members to carpool, bike or walk to school. Learn more and participate in the Bellevue SchoolPool Program.

Program to reduce neighborhood cut-through traffic

With the East Link light rail construction program going “full bore” on Bellevue Way SE, the City has launched a program to deter cut-through traffic in adjacent neighborhoods. As of last week, the following restrictions are in place:

  • On 108th at SE 16th, no through traffic will be permitted to the intersection at Bellevue Way SE
  • On SE 16th, at 108th SE, westbound traffic will be prohibited across Bellevue Way SE, as well as left-hand turns southbound on to Bellevue Way SE

The program will run for three months; for additional details, check out the pilot webpage.


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Bellevue Blitz Roundup: Legislative Wrap-Up; New Enatai Park and Ride Lot Opens; Procurement Workshop; Sound Transit Construction Alerts

Posted By Chris Johnson, Monday, August 21, 2017
Updated: Wednesday, August 16, 2017

2017 East King Chambers Legislative Wrap-Up

The dog days of summer have arrived and it is time for the public policy event of the season. Come join us as we hear from East King legislators as they tell us the back story behind the biennial budget and the deal to fund basic education, as well as what to expect in 2018.

And this year we have a new twist – we’ve asked legislators to grade themselves!

Details are as follows:

Thursday, September 14, 2016 | 4:00 – 7:00 PM                                                                                                                                                                                       The Club at Snoqualmie Ridge, Cascadia Room/Ballroom                                                                                                                                                                         36005 SE Ridge Street, Snoqualmie, WA 98065

Attendance at this event is limited to members of Coalition Chambers and invited guests, and always fills up quickly. Don’t delay, register today.

New Enatai Park and Ride Lot Opens

Do you live along the Bellevue Way SE corridor and need a place to park your car and catch the bus? Sound Transit has just announced the opening of a new, temporary park and ride lot, just south of the intersection of SE 16th and Bellevue Way SE.

The new Enatai Park and Ride Lot at 1624 Bellevue Way SE, is located in the vacant lot adjacent to Chace’s Pancake Corral. With up to fifty stalls available, you could have breakfast and then jump on the ST 550 Express Bus.

Get more information here.

Congressman Adam Smith Hosts Procurement Workshop September 15

Congressman Adam Smith invites you to join other interested small business owners to learn about government contracting opportunities and various resources for small businesses. Topics include government contracting essentials; panel of government agencies facilitated by Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC). A light breakfast will be provided.The event is free on September 15; 9am-12:00pm at the Federal Way Community Center. Space is limited. Please RSVP with your name, phone number and email address to

Sound Transit Construction Alerts

Monday – Friday, Aug. 21-25

  • One NB lane of 112th Avenue Southeast between Main and Southeast 6th Street may be closed for utility work, 8 AM – 3 PM and one lane SB, from 7 AM – 3 PM.
  • Bellevue Way SE may see one NB lane closed from S. Bellevue Park and Ride Lot to the “Y” at 112th SE, from 10 AM – 8 PM.               
  • The Bellevue Way SE to I-90 west HOV ramp may be closed overnight, Monday – Friday, from 8 PM to 3 PM the following day, as needed.

For additional information or to sign up for alerts, see the East Link construction webpage.

Tags:  2017 East King Chambers Legislative Wrap-Up; New E 

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2017 East King Chambers Legislative Wrap-Up

Posted By Chris Johnson, Monday, August 7, 2017

Thursday, September 14, 2016 | 4:00 – 7:00 PM
The Club at Snoqualmie Ridge, Cascadia Room/Ballroom
36005 SE Ridge Street, Snoqualmie, WA 98065
(I-90 east to exit 18, 2.5 miles on SR 18/Snoqualmie Parkway)

Register Online at or call (425) 454-2464.

The Third Special Session is over and legislators have left the state capitol. Here is your chance to catch up with them and find out the real story behind the 11th hour budget deal, K-12 funding and more.

Come join Delegates to the East King Chambers Coalition, local business leaders and our Eastside legislators for the Coalition’s annual Legislative Wrap-Up. Emcee Randy Bannecker will moderate a panel of legislators, as they discuss how to get things done in a closely divided state capitol, take a look ahead to 2018 and respond to your questions.

For more information contact Bellevue Chamber Director of Government Relations Chris Johnson or (425) 213-1208.


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Bellevue Blitz Roundup: Food Truck Roundup; Air Quality Warning; Summer Construction Alerts

Posted By Chris Johnson, Thursday, August 3, 2017

Food Truck Roundup

Why labor over a hot stove when it’s ninety degrees outside? Throw off your apron and head to the annual Bellevue Parks & Community Services Food Truck Roundup on Wednesday, Aug. 9, 4-8 PM at Bellevue’s Ashwood Park. Vendors will serve up everything from traditional hot dogs and hamburgers, to vegetarian sandwiches, falafel and ice cream treats.

Park at the Bellevue Library and enjoy live music from 5:30 – 8:00 PM. Learn more at

Air Quality Warning

While temperatures continue to climb to historic levels, the heat wave has been somewhat dampened by “HEATZILLA,” the flow of smoke from British Columbia fires into our area. Consequently, the Puget Sound Air Quality Agency has issued a summertime air quality burn ban. This means no barbecues, bonfires or free-standing fire pits. And if you can, stay indoors and use air conditioning.

Learn more about the ban and how to stay safe at

 Summer Construction Alerts

During the weekdays of August 7 – 10, watch for ongoing Sound Transit construction-related closures:

Monday-Friday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.: One NB lane of Bellevue Way SE may be closed from South Bellevue Station to the “Y” at 112th Avenue Southeast;

Monday-Friday 8 p.m. to 3 p.m.: Daily/overnight closure of the Bellevue Way Southeast to I-90 west HOV ramp.

During the weekend of August 12-13, Bellevue Way SE and ramps to I-90 closed:

All lanes of Bellevue Way SE in both directions, between the “Y” at 112th Ave SE and I-90 will be closed;

All ramps between Bellevue Way SE and I-90 will be closed.

See the latest East Link construction alert bulletin online.

Additional local traffic revisions include:

NE 2nd Pl between 108th & 110th Ave NE: Mon - Fri, 8/8-25, 7 am - 4 pm. Road closure to install sewer and water connections.

Downtown Park - NE 1st St between 99th Ave NE & 100th Ave NE: Mon - Tues, 8/7-8, 7 am - 4 pm. Road closure to do grind & overlay.

For more information on other local closures, see Bellevue’s traffic advisories page.

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Bellevue Blitz Roundup: Governor vetoes B&O tax break; Eastside Business Alliance candidate endorsements; Grand Connection art and cultural plan

Posted By Chris Johnson, Monday, July 24, 2017

Governor vetoes B&O tax break

The state budget deal negotiated on June 30 included a proposed reduction in the B&O tax rate for manufacturing, from the current 0.484 to 0.2904 over four years. As reported in the last Bellevue Blitz Roundup, the Governor vetoed these provisions, as contained in Part II of 2SSB 5977.

This same tax rate was granted to Boeing in 2003 and extended in 2040. If offered to other manufacturers, the proposal would have amounted to an estimated $64 million over the next two biennia.

Legislators weighed whether or not to override the Governor’s veto, but ultimately, with the clock ticking on the 3rd Special Session, elected not to do so. However, the Legislature subsequently adjourned without adopting a $4.2 billion capital budget.

For additional background on the B&O tax reduction proposal, please see this op-ed by the Washington Research Council.

Eastside Business Alliance candidate endorsements

With just a week to go until the 2017 Primary Election, the Eastside Business Alliance has announced endorsements for the following candidates:

Bellevue City Council, Position 4: Jared Nieuwenhuis

Port of Seattle Commission, Position 1: John Creighton

Port of Seattle Commission, Position 3: Stephanie Bowman

Bellevue City Council, Position 2: Conrad Lee

Kirkland Mayor: Amy Walen


The Eastside Business Alliance supports candidates for local, non-partisan office, who advocate business-friendly public policies. Chamber members may elect to make a donation to the Eastside Business Political Action Committee, as part of their monthly dues remittance.

Grand Connection art and cultural plan

Last year, Bellevue residents were invited to shape design concepts for the Grand Connection, linking Meydenbauer Bay with Old Bellevue, the Civic Center District and ultimately, the Wilburton neighborhood. Now the City has issued a draft Art and Cultural Plan, offering a vision for creative opportunities along the corridor.

Learn more about the Art and Cultural Plan or provide feedback on the Grand Connection Framework Plan at the project website.


Download File (PDF)

Tags:  B&O tax break for manufacturing veto 

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Bellevue Blitz Roundup: Sound Transit construction closures continue; East King Chambers support B&O tax reduction; Eastside Business Alliance early endorsements

Posted By Chris Johnson, Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Sound Transit construction closures continue

Last month, the I-90 center roadway was permanently close to vehicle traffic, in preparation for conversion to light rail operations in 2023.

Motorists utilizing the new HOV lanes on the bridge deck between Mercer Island and Seattle should take note of the following:

I-90 Westbound HOV lane will close between East Mercer Way and Interstate 5 in Seattle. Closures will occur nightly between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m., from Wednesday July 12 until Friday July 14.

Check Sound Transit’s East Link project webpage for more details.

East King Chambers support B&O tax reduction

Included in the budget deal agreed to by Governor Inslee on June 30, was a proposed reduction in the B&O tax rate for manufacturing, from the current 0.484 to 0.2904 over four years. However, the Governor bowed to pressure from 24 legislators and agreed to veto these provisions, as contained in a separate revenue bill.

The East King Chambers have long offered strong support for targeted B&O tax reduction for life sciences and technology firms, as well as the aerospace and commercial space sectors. Please see the attached letter from the Coalition, urging Governor Inslee not to veto this proposal.

To learn more about the adopted biennial operating budget, read SSB 5883. For information about the proposed B&O tax reduction for manufacturing, see Part II of 2SSB 5977.


Eastside Business Alliance early endorsements

The Eastside Business Alliance recently announced three early candidate endorsements, for the 2017 election cycle. A political action committee which supports business-friendly candidates for local, non-partisan offices, EBA was pleased to renew endorsements for the following longtime friends of business:

  • Port of Seattle Commissioner Stephanie Bowman
  • Bellevue City Councilmember Conrad Lee
  • Kirkland Mayor Amy Walen

Please see the attached news release for additional details. EBA will be back with additional endorsements for business-friendly incumbents and challengers alike, in the coming weeks. 

 Attached Files:

Tags:  East King County Chambers of Commerce Legislative   Eastside Business Alliance 

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Bellevue Blitz Roundup: Bellevue names new CIO and Transportation Technology Partnership Manager; City lands key federal grant; I-90 closures continue.

Posted By Chris Johnson, Friday, June 16, 2017

Bellevue names new CIO and Transportation Technology Partnership Manager

The City of Bellevue has announced the hiring of Sabra Schneider as chief information officer. A longtime IT professional with experience on both sides of Lake Washington, Ms. Schneider joined the City in January 2015, as chief operations officer in ITD and became interim CIO last summer.

To launch its new transportation technologies partnership, the City hired Steve Marshall, a longtime friend of the Chamber. Among other assignments, Mr. Marshall practiced law with Perkins Coie for many years, served as general legal counsel at Snohomish PUD and co-founded the Center for Advanced Transportation and Energy Solutions.

We expect great things from these two hires as Bellevue participates in the Smart Cities Initiative and rolls out new ITS partnerships, in part funded by Bellevue Proposition 2.

City lands key federal grant

Bellevue has exciting news when it comes to funding transportation projects, having just landing a $99.6 million federal grant. The Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act, or TFIA, provides long-term loans at 2.86% – a relative low rate. The loan, part of the federal sFAST Act – Fixing America’s Surface Transportation, will fund key mobility projects in the emerging Spring District, Bel-Red corridor and Wilburton Commercial areas. Learn more about the TFIA loan and the projects it will fund.

Bellevue Way lane closures continue

As with the last several weekends, motorists, cyclists and pedestrians should seek alternatives to travel on Bellevue Way SE, Saturday June 24 – Sunday, June 25. Three lanes will be closed and access will be reduced to one lane northbound, south of the “Y” at 112th SE. In addition, ramps connecting Bellevue Way SE to I-90 will be closed. Learn more at the Sound Transit project webpage.




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Bellevue Blitz Roundup: Homeless Shelter 45 Day Review; New City website; Opening on Planning Commission

Posted By Chris Johnson, Tuesday, June 6, 2017
Updated: Monday, June 5, 2017

Homeless Shelter 45 Day Review

At the June 5 Regular Study Session, the Bellevue Council again discussed possible sites for the proposed Men’s Homeless Shelter and Supportive Housing Project. This date marks the conclusion of a 45 day review period, during which additional analysis was performed on alternative locations, including Lincoln Center, the site of the current emergency shelter, and the Sound Transit Operations and Maintenance Facility.

At its April 17 meeting, Council gave preliminary approval to the site adjacent to the Eastgate Park and Ride Lot and Public Health facility at 14350 SE Eastgate Way, but agreed to take a closer look at the other locations.

See the staff memo relating to this discussion item and other background materials here.

New City Website

After an extensive effort by Bellevue staff, including outreach to the general public, the City has now unveiled its new and more user-friendly website. Replacing architecture first rolled out over a decade ago, the City’s new online presence is specifically designed to be accessed through mobile platforms. Information is organized under the following categories: City Government; Discover Bellevue; Doing Business; Public Safety and Resident Resources. The new site does seem like quite an improvement, but check it out yourself at and take the online survey here.

Opening on Planning Commission

Earlier this spring, Bellevue announced its periodic process for filling vacancies on a variety of volunteer advisory bodies. Now the City is back with a more specific invitation to fill a vacancy on the Planning Commission. Over the past year, this commission has provided strategic advice to Council on such important issues as the Downtown Livability Initiative and Land Use Code Amendments, Low Impact Development and potential land use changes to the Newport Hills Shopping Center.

If you have a passion for land use planning, consider applying for this vacancy here; due date is June 23 at 5 PM.

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Policy Committees on Hiatus; More on Meydenbauer Bay Park; East Link Construction in high gear; I-90 Center Lane changes coming soon.

Posted By Chris Johnson, Monday, May 15, 2017

Policy Committees on Hiatus

As a reminder, we’re taking the month of May off from Chamber policy committee meetings. But. we’ll be back in June with fresh topics and speakers! Keep your eyes on these pages for more information. 

More on Meydenbauer Bay Park

Bellevue has long been known as the “City in a Park,” with nearly 100 open spaces to enjoy. Now, new and longtime residents alike can celebrate the groundbreaking of Meydenbauer Bay Park. Three decades in the making, this new project will connect Meydenbauer Beach Park with Meydenbauer Marina and open up a quarter mile of waterfront property to permanent public access.

Here are a few highlights of the project:

  • Construction of a new beach house with restroom and showers;
  • A new pier with hand-carry boat launch;
  • An expanded swimming area;
  • Additional parking capacity.

Total cost is projected to be $17.2 million and the park is expected to open in late 2018.

Bel-Red East Link Construction in high gear

Beginning May 15, work crews will begin demolishing buildings on the site of the future Bel-Red/130th light rail station. Take a look at a map of affected properties here. To learn more about light rail-related construction in the Bel-Red area, Sound Transit is planning a construction kick-off open house during the month of June. We’ll keep you posted as soon as we have additional details.

I-90 Center Lane changes coming soon

Over the last month, we’ve experienced a series of partial lane closures on I-90, as work crews performed re-striping and other tasks related to addition of one new HOV lane in each direction, between Mercer Island and the Mount Baker tunnel.

Now, Sound Transit and WSDOT are on track to permanently close reversible operation of center lanes across I-90 on June 3, for conversion to light rail operations. Learn more on from WSDOT here.

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