Residents can now file police reports, track crime online

January 7, 2011

Newcastle residents and others served by the King County Sheriff’s Office have two new Internet-based resources at their disposal when it comes to reporting minor crimes and tracking crime in the region.

The King County Sheriff’s Office website now offers a new feature known as Report to Sheriff, which allows residents to notify police of incidents by typing reports on their computers rather than by waiting on hold on the phone.

Through Report to Sheriff, residents can file and print reports for general property theft, mail theft, identity theft, bicycle theft, car prowls, vandalism and suspicious circumstances. They can also anonymously report narcotics activity or file traffic complaints.

To report an incident, there must not be a suspect nor evidence left by a suspect. It also mustn’t have occurred on a state freeway or Metro or Sound Transit bus.

If the crime is in progress or it is an emergency, dial 911, the site reminds.

For more information about what crimes can be reported online, visit the Report to Sheriff website or call the King County Sheriff’s Office nonemergency line at 206-296-3311.

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Parks Commission to host second off-leash dog park public hearing

January 7, 2011

The Parks Commission will host a public hearing at 6 p.m. Jan. 12 at council chambers, 1320 Newcastle Way, to gather more input regarding a potential off-leash dog park in the city.

The commission held a public hearing Dec. 8.

After the next hearing, the commission may choose to make a recommendation to the City Council regarding a potential off-leash dog park in the city.

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Local moving company receives recognition

January 7, 2011

National van line Mayflower recently recognized its affiliate, Newcastle-based Rainier Moving Systems Inc., at the annual Mayflower convention for the affiliate’s exceptional professional performance, according to a news release.

Rainier Moving Systems was one of Mayflower’s highest revenue producers in 2009.

Coal Creek Utility District general manager to take on state duties

January 7, 2011

Members of the Washington Association of Water and Sewer Districts elected Coal Creek Utility District General Manager Tom Peadon to serve as secretary on their board of directors.

Peadon was elected in September and began his duties Jan. 1. He will serve on the board of directors until December 2012.

Mortgage broker named professional of the year

January 7, 2011

The Washington Association of Mortgage Professionals recently named Evergreen State Mortgage broker Jeffrey Lorsch the mortgage broker of the year.

Lorsch was given the award for how he interacts with members of the community and his customers, and how well he upholds the ethics and ideals of the industry, according to the Washington Association of Mortgage Professionals.

Winter wonderland replaced by Pineapple Express damage

January 7, 2011

The heavy rain that assaulted the city the weekend of Dec. 11-12 caused a landslide off Newcastle Golf Club Road. City crews were forced to use almost 1,400 tons of rock to stabilize the hillside. By Tim Pfarr

In the wake of the snow and ice that pounded Newcastle just before Thanksgiving, a balmy Pineapple Express weather system blew into the area the weekend of Dec. 11 and 12, dumping more than three inches of rain on the city, according to the National Weather Service.

The wet conditions caused a landslide off Newcastle Golf Club Road and flooding in numerous locations across the city.

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Jeweler makes his bling sing

January 7, 2011

Porter Jensen Jewelers pioneers interactive Tekno Charms

Porter Jensen Jeweler co-owner Joe Waldmann is continually on the hunt, searching for new realms in which to expand his business.

In 2003, he developed and patented mechanical titanium T3 rings, which are reconfigurable and allow for different elements to be threaded onto a base band. This fall, the co-owner of the Newcastle business bred jewelry with digital media, creating silver charms that can trigger an iPhone to break into song.

Joe Waldmann, Porter Jensen Jeweler co-owner and Tekno Charm creator, demonstrates how to scan the charm with an iPhone. By Tim Pfarr

The name: Tekno Charms.

The 1 3/8-inch by seven-eighths-inch sterling silver charms are placed on bracelets and necklaces, and by scanning a charm with an iPhone barcode scanner, the phone connects to the Tekno Charm website and launches into a short, animated music video.

Joe Waldmann and his wife Nancy Waldmann — with whom he co-owns the business — launched their first set of charms in late November, synching a set of Christmas-themed charms with a techno-pop version of “The 12 Days of Christmas.”

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City approves 2011 budget

January 7, 2011

The City Council passed the 2011 budget with a 6-1 vote — with Councilman Sonny Putter dissenting — at its Dec. 7 meeting. The budget forecasts a $46,000 surplus for the year.

“I want to commend the staff for working creatively,” Deputy Mayor Steve Buri said at the meeting.

Mayor John Dulcich also said the budget was a success, given that the council and members of city staff were able to balance the budget with virtually no tax hikes nor service cuts.

Although the sentiment for the 2011 budget was largely positive, comments were infused with statements regarding the importance of financial cautiousness in future years.

“Are we the Titanic or are we the Exxon Valdez?” Dulcich asked. “We can’t be sitting in our cabin. We have to be at the helm.”

Councilwoman Carol Simpson emphasized that the city’s financial future will be difficult.

“I don’t think it’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’ that we had before,” she said.

However, Putter rejected the budget’s conservative forecast, which does not take into account any new revenue sources or call for property tax hikes that could help fund additional services and projects.

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Lake Boren playground to be installed by spring

January 7, 2011

The new playground to be installed in Lake Boren Park will likely be in place this spring, said Steve Worthy, manager of the Seattle firm Worthy and Associates, which is designing the new structure.

Worthy attended the Dec. 7 City Council meeting to give an update on the design process and garner feedback from the council.

The playground is slated to expand to the north and east, and include two separate play areas: one for children 2-5 years old and another for children older than 5. The design calls for a concrete pathway to separate the play areas, and for the current swings — which are in good condition — to not be removed or replaced.

Furthermore, the design also calls for the backless, concrete seating areas to be replaced with benches, and for picnic tables to be placed along with benches and a sandbox in a concrete plaza in the southeast corner of the playground.

The floor of the playground itself will contain cedar chips.

The playground will be funded by a $325,000 grant from the state.

Newcastle Days volunteers invited to happy hour

January 7, 2011

The Newcastle Chamber of Commerce is hosting a reception for 2010 Newcastle Days volunteers at the Wooly Toad Bar at The Golf Club at Newcastle from 4-8 p.m. Jan. 13.

There will also be a happy hour from 4-6 p.m., and Mayor John Dulcich will make a speech at 5:30 p.m. to acknowledge the volunteers.

The event will also be open to the general public. R.S.V.P. to chamber of commerce board member John Jensen at jensenroofing@msn.com if you plan to attend.

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