Residents air concerns over halfway house

SNOQUALMIE - Hundreds of concerned Valley residents piled into the auditorium and an overflow room at Mount Si High School May 5 to let state officials know that a sex-offender halfway house proposed for a site near North Bend is not welcome.

The meeting was the first of two this month scheduled by the state Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) to receive public input on a court-mandated proposed facility that will be used to transition convicted sex offenders back into society.

In April, DSHS officials announced that a 5-acre site of forest land near the Washington State Patrol Fire Training Academy just outside of North Bend that is owned by the Department of Natural Resources would join two sites in South King County on the list of final candidates for the facility. Opponents of the sex-offender halfway house -which included all of the about 90 people who spoke at the meeting - claim that DSHS did not follow its own siting guidelines when the North Bend site was added to the list and urged the state to immediately remove it.

"We're not asking for special consideration," said North Bend Mayor Joan Simpson. "We're asking you for fair consideration."

For the complete story, pick up a copy of this week's Valley Record

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