City pushes pavement repairs back to 2011

October 4, 2010

The City Council unanimously voted at its Sept. 21 meeting to delay until next year the city’s pavement overlay projects scheduled for this year.

The projects for the year listed five priority projects, as well as three additional projects in case funding was available.

The council made its decision following a recommendation from city staff to push the projects back because bids for the work were substantially more expensive than had been anticipated.

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City joins the fight to reduce teen smoking

October 4, 2010

Mayor John Dulcich announced at the Sept. 21 City Council meeting that the council would declare the second week in September as King County Quits! Week, and that the council would support the effort to reduce teen smoking by 50 percent by 2020.

Other cities across King County, the American Heart Association, the American Lung Association, the American Cancer Society, the American Diabetes Association and the Washington Health Foundation made the same declaration.

City Hall hosts food drive

October 4, 2010

City Hall is hosting a food drive for the Emergency Feeding Program of Seattle and King County through Oct. 13.

Those who wish to help can bring nonperishable food items to the City Hall lobby, where there is a collection box.

If you come by after hours, Administrative Assistant Aleta Phillips said you can put your donation by the door and a city staff member will bring it inside the next business day.

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Golf Club at Newcastle to host candidate forum Oct. 16

October 4, 2010

The Golf Club at Newcastle will host a free forum from 9 a.m. – noon Oct. 16 for citizens to hear from candidates running for congress in the state’s 8th District, and those running for state Senate and House of Representatives in the 41st District.

The forum will be held in the Saint Andrews Ballroom.

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Council approves Rob Wyman as city manager

October 4, 2010

The City Council approved City Manager Rob Wyman’s contract at its Sept. 21 meeting.

Wyman was hired as interim city manager in January, and the council chose to hire him as the permanent city manager Aug. 31.

As decided by the council at the Aug. 31 meeting, Wyman will receive an annual salary of $110,000, and he will not receive a raise of any sort without the approval of the council. The council will review his performance at least once per year.

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City Council spends retreat working on 2011 budget

October 4, 2010

Public invited to town hall Oct. 28

City officials began work on the 2011 budget in September, beginning with a seven-hour budget retreat Sept. 7.

The City Council met with City Manager Rob Wyman and Finance Director Christine Olson to set priorities and give direction to members of city staff for the budgeting process.

The budget process

The first copy of the preliminary budget will be distributed to the council at the Oct. 19 meeting. In accordance with budgeting policies adopted by the council earlier this year, city staff will not be able to present a budget containing a deficit. The first public hearing regarding the budget will also be held Oct. 19.

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Newcastle Trails readies latest map with help of volunteer Harry Morgan

October 4, 2010

Newcastle Trails is preparing to release its latest map of city trails with the help of Hobart resident Harry Morgan, who walked all of the city’s trails with a GPS in August and September 2009. He used his GPS to record his trips and create a new, accurate map.

Morgan released the first map that used GPS data to Newcastle Trails in June, and his latest map, which he gave to the organization at the end of September, makes minor corrections and clarifications. After Newcastle Trails’ board of directors approves the new map, it will be available to hikers and trail users online and in paper brochures.

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Splashy coral bells and stylish fall grasses complete a garden

October 4, 2010

It is not your grandma’s garden anymore. New and elegant plants are being introduced more frequently than ever.

Not many plants are more successful than the multitude of new “coral bells,” heuchera (pronounced hew-ker-uh) and the plethora of hardy grasses when it comes to adding movement and soft structure to any garden design.

Heuchera is a perennial with a multitude of foliage colors, textures and design uses. There are cultivars for every exposure from full sun to full shade, and the plant is used in a similar way to hosta.

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Keep your garden bright when it’s dreary

October 4, 2010

Dreary Northwest winters got you down? What little sunshine braves its way through the clouds does what it can, but we still crave more. “Give us more vitamin D, and color!” we cry, only to be answered by another light drizzle.

Alas, what’s a gardener to do? Cheer up! Here are a few bright and wonderful plants to bring a warm glow to your fall and winter landscape.

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I love a coincidence: mystery solved

October 4, 2010

When I was young enough to read until 2 a.m. and then go to work all chipper the next day, I was a Robert Ludlum fan. I would suck in his big books like beer at a boring party. There was a single piece of music that I listened to as I read these, and this was before iPods and CDs and “repeat” buttons, so it required me to actually get up off of my butt and move the needle back to the beginning of the LP when it was over. (Students, please see Wikipedia for explanation.) It was Handel’s “Water Music,” and I listened to it so much that I’m convinced that if given a baton and a willing orchestra with a great sense of humor, I could conduct it today.

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