Local dentist charged with child molestation

March 4, 2011

Newcastle resident and dentist Gil Furman was charged in January with one count of second-degree child molestation and two counts of third-degree child molestation.

Furman allegedly molested a teenage girl for two and a half years beginning when the girl was 13 and ending when she was 15, according to charging documents.

Furman — who is married with children — was 35 when the alleged molestation began.

Furman was arrested and arraigned Jan. 25, and he pleaded not guilty. He was given conditional release and a no-contact order with the girl.

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City Hall move risky but understandable

March 4, 2011

Moving City Hall from the Newport Manufacturing building, 13020 Newcastle Way, to the Newcastle Professional Center, 12835 Newcastle Way, is understandable but risky. The City Council needs to be sure it protects residents as it takes this risk.

The Newport Manufacturing building is run-down, an embarrassing place for City Hall. There is little the city could do to change the image of this building. The move to a nearly new building may improve employee morale, attract better job candidates and reduce employee turnover.

More importantly, the Newcastle Professional Center is the only office space available in the city of Newcastle. It may be the only opportunity for many years for the city to get out of the Newport Manufacturing building.

The big concern is the cost. It will cost the city $250,000 to move into the new building, and the city will pay an average of $15,000 more per year in rent and utilities in the new building.

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Rapid Response

March 4, 2011

What do you think of the City Council’s decision to move City Hall to the Newcastle Professional Center?

OK, as long as we can develop where City Hall currently is into a good tax resource (i.e. a great bistro-type restaurant. No fast food allowed!) for the city.

— Jackie Foskett, Newcastle


I think larger space was sacrificed for nicer space when funds are low. Rent could go up substantially before improvements are amortized. Maintenance and storage spaces are still needed.

— Peggy Price, Newcastle


Great move and better accessibility for all.

— Trina Sooy, Newcastle

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Recycling challenge kicks off

March 4, 2011

Waste Management pits the east and west sides of city against each other

The gloves are off. Who will win? The Recycling Renegades on the east side of Coal Creek Parkway, or the Waste Less Warriors on the west side?

Waste Management has pitted the two halves of the city against each other for a five-month recycling competition, and it will award $5,000 to the team that recycles the most between through June 24. The competition kicked off Jan. 24.

The winner of Waste Manage-ment’s contest will get $5,000 for a community project. Contributed

The competition is the first of its kind, said Katie Salinas, public sector manager for Waste Management. Last year, the organization launched programs that rewarded individuals in cities such as Burien, Kirkland and Redmond for recycling, but it never rewarded entire communities.

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Horticulturalist to speak at gardening seminar

March 4, 2011

Christina Salwitz, a personal gardening coach from the Newcastle Fruit & Produce nursery, will be a guest speaker March 18 at Proven Winners’ “Outdoor Living Extravaganza” gardening seminar at the Golf Club at Newcastle, 15500 Six Penny Road.

The seminar is one of four the plant distribution company is holding in the U.S. and Canada this March and April. The touring seminar also makes stops in Atlanta, Milwaukee and Toronto.

Salwitz has more than 20 years experience working at nurseries. Her presentation will be titled “Foliage — Confessions of a Leafaholic.” She will discuss how a designer uses leaves and textures to create a striking landscape.

Salwitz will only be speaking at the Newcastle seminar, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. including a catered lunch. Cost is $80 per person, and attendees will be treated to several giveaways.

Visit the company’s website, www.provenwinners.com, and click “events” for more information or to register.

Police Blotter

March 4, 2011

Please leave a message

A woman reported just after 3 a.m. Jan. 21 from Newport Crossing Apartments, 7311 Coal Creek Parkway S.E., that her boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend had been harassing her over the phone and cursing at her. She said she just wanted police to be aware of the situation.

Car break-ins

  • A 1999 Plymouth Voyager was broken into outside Yea’s Wok Restaurant, 6969 Coal Creek Parkway S.E., at about 5 p.m. Jan. 21. The owner reported the front, passenger-side window had been shattered, causing $250 in damage, and that a GPS unit worth $250 had been stolen.
  • Someone broke into a 2000 Subaru Outback at Lake Boren Park, 13000 S.E. 84th St., between 4:20 and 4:30 p.m. Feb. 7. The owner reported that she had been walking her dog in the park, and she returned to find the front passenger side window smashed and her purse taken. She reported that the purse and its contents to be worth $4,000.
  • A 1998 Honda Civic had was broken into at Cedar Rim Apartments, 7920 110th Ave. S.E., between 10 p.m. Feb. 7 and 8 a.m. Feb. 8. The owner reported that she found the rear driver’s side door left ajar. She reported that her cell phone charger worth $25 had been stolen, as well as a pearl necklace worth $1,000, the car’s manual worth $10 and the car’s registration worth $25.

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City ends 2010 with $5,500 surplus

March 4, 2011

Heading into 2010, the city was facing a deficit of nearly $500,000 in its operating budget.

After extensive cuts, that was eliminated and changed to a surplus of almost $53,000. For the remainder of the year, the budget teetered between small surpluses and deficits, but the year ended with a $5,500 surplus.

Almost all city funds collected more money than was budgeted. Development revenue was $182,000 more than what the city budgeted, and this helped offset the shortfalls in retail sales tax and state-shared criminal justice sales tax collections.

At the end of the year, retail sales tax collection was $160,000 below budget, and the state-shared criminal justice sales tax was almost $57,000 below budget.

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Work plans approved for 2011 planning, parks commissions

March 4, 2011

The City Council approved the 2011 Parks Commission and Planning Commissions work plans with a 7-0 vote at its March 1 meeting.

Drafts of the work plans were first presented at the Feb. 15 joint City Council, Parks Commission and Planning Commission meeting.

This year, the Parks Commission will review the city’s comprehensive plan — which details the city’s vision — updating the parks, recreation and open space portions. The city needs to update its comprehensive plan every six years to be eligible for state grants. The plan has not been updated in eight years.

The Parks Commission will also discuss ways to increase recreational opportunities, possibly through collaboration with the Coal Creek YMCA and Regency Newcastle.

The commission will take an active role in community events once again this year, as well as in Newcastle Days. In the third and fourth quarters of the year, the Parks Commission will create a draft of trail construction standards and a public art policy.

The Planning Commission will review the city’s community business center for the first and second quarter of the year.

It will discuss issues such as the city’s restriction on drive-thrus, the city’s 75-foot building-height limit and floor-area-ratio density requirements.

The Planning Commission will work on the review through the second quarter of the year. In the second and third quarter, the Planning Commission will discuss possibly allowing greater used of impervious surfaces in the city’s mixed-use development zones north of Lake Boren and northeast of the Newcastle Golf Club Road and Newcastle Way intersection.

It will also discuss allowing more impervious surfaces in open spaces, such as in the site of the future sports park north of Southeast 95th Way. City code states that only 2 percent of open space may contain impervious surfaces, such as asphalt pathways and parking lots.

In the third quarter, the commission will also propose amendments to the city’s comprehensive plan and discuss extending the city’s developer stimulus program, which delays development fee collection.

In the fourth quarter, the commission will perform its annual code cleanup and update its code regarding communication infrastructure.

The Parks Commission is a nine-person advisory body to the City Council that works on issues regarding city-owned parks. It works on park planning, park design, park construction, park and facility development, renovation, trails and paths, recreation programs and special community events, according to the city’s website.

The Parks Commission meets at 6 p.m. the second Wednesday of each month in Council Chambers, 13020 Newcastle Way.

The Planning Commission provides advice and makes recommendations to the City Council regarding the city’s comprehensive plan and development codes. It meets at 6 p.m. the third Wednesday of each month in Council Chambers.

Parks and Planning Commission meetings are open to the public and have opportunities for public comment.

Renton schools try to figure out budget cuts

March 4, 2011

In the wake of the state Legislature’s December cuts to the 2010-2011 school year budget and Gov. Chris Gregoire’s proposed budget for the coming years, the Renton School District has turned to parents, students and members of the community for help.

District officials held three meetings in January to discuss budget priorities, including one at Hazen High School on Jan. 27.

The Legislature’s cuts snatched $850,000 from the district mid-year, and Gregoire’s proposed budget — which aims to address a $4.6 billion shortfall — calls for $2.4 million in additional cuts for the 2011-2012 school year.

“For next year, it’s devastating,” Renton Superintendent Mary Alice Heuschel said. “We’re now cutting into our future, and it’s irresponsible. We’re at the point where there’s not much left.”

The district cut $17.9 million from its budgets from 2007-2010.

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Calendar

March 4, 2011

Events

The Newcastle Chamber of Commerce lunch meeting is from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. March 9 at Tapatio’s, 6920 Coal Creek Parkway S.E. Cost is $20. R.S.V.P. to info@newcastlecc.com. Fred Jarrett, deputy King County executive, will give a State of the County address.

The Newcastle Weed Warriors next blackberry weed removal projects are from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 12 and 26 at Lake Boren Park. Download a volunteer form at www.newcastleweedwarriors.org/ projects.html.

Newcastle Trails hosts a Trail Walk from 9 a.m. to noon March 19. Learn more at www.newcastletrails.org.

The Hazen High School Booster Club auction and dinner is from 5:30-11 p.m. March 26 at Renton Technical College, 3000 N.E. 4th St., Renton. Tickets are $35, which include dinner. There will be silent and live auctions, and a 50/50 raffle. Items in the auctions include Seahawks tickets and wine baskets. R.S.V.P. at www.hazenboosters.org.

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