Department of Ecology enlists teenagers to clean up litter

February 16, 2012

NEW — 9:40 a.m. Feb. 16, 2012

Newcastle teenagers can join the effort to clean up Washington parks and roadsides soon.

The state Department of Ecology’s Northwest Regional Office in Bellevue plans to hire about 72 teenagers to help clean up area roadsides, parks and recreation areas during the summer. Ecology Youth Corps members also learn how to better care for the environment through the program.

Youths ages 14 to 17 can apply through April 10 to work with one of Ecology Youth Corps crews cleaning up litter this summer in King, Skagit, Snohomish and Whatcom counties. Crews work Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., in a four-week session.

Sessions run from June 28 through July 25 and again from July 26 through August 21. Participants earn $9.04 per hour.

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Middle school bond shy of necessary votes needed to pass

February 15, 2012

UPDATED — 5:30 p.m. Feb. 15, 2012

A Renton School District bond that would provide funding for a new middle school in Newcastle is about three points shy of the 60 percent needed to pass, according to King County’s special election results.

The $97 million bond would fund the new middle school at the former Hazelwood Elementary School site, now home to the Renton Academy.

The Renton Academy facility would be torn down and a new building would be built in its place. The facility could be a traditional middle school or a magnet school to focus on a specialized curriculum, such a math or science.

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Residents spot bobcat in Newcastle’s Olympus neighborhood

February 13, 2012

Bobcat Sighting

Lois and Neil Buhman, residents of Newcastle's Olympus neighborhood, reported seeing a bobcat in their yard Feb. 12. This photo was taken at about 8 a.m. after the animal had been resting behind their bushes and running up and down their rock steps. The Buhmans contacted their neighbors, but none of them reported seeing it.


Newcastle lawmakers invite residents to town hall meetings

February 10, 2012

NEW — 11:05 a.m. Feb. 10, 2012

Residents can join Newcastle legislators to discuss the ongoing session in Olympia at town hall meetings in Mercer Island and Newcastle next week.

Meet state Sen. Steve Litzow and state Reps. Judy Clibborn and Marcie Maxwell — 41st Legislative District lawmakers — at the Feb. 18 meetings. The sessions come as the Legislature confronts a $1.5 billion shortfall in the state budget.

The bipartisan delegation — Republican Litzow; Democrats Clibborn and Maxwell — plans to answer participants’ questions.

The morning meeting is scheduled for 10-11:30 a.m. at Hazelwood Elementary School, 7100 116th Ave. S.E., Newcastle.

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Mayor emphasizes redevelopment in State of the City address

February 9, 2012

NEW — 5:45 p.m. Feb. 9, 2012

Newcastle Mayor Rich Crispo stressed financial responsibility and smart economic development — and redevelopment — during the city’s 2012 State of the City address.

The address, given before residents and the Newcastle Chamber of Commerce at its monthly luncheon Feb. 8 at Tapatio Mexican Grill, laid out big-picture goals for the city for the upcoming year and beyond.

The city must find a balance of opening its doors to new growth and redevelopment without losing its sense of identity, he said.

“The first thing we have to do is let people know Newcastle is open for business,” he said. “That may sound kind of trite, but when you think about the 17 years of this city and how many new buildings have been put up here in a commercial sense … you have Valley Medical Center, you have the library that is in construction right now, and you have the professional building.  That’s it.”

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Climb to Fight Breast Cancer discussion to be held at YMCA

February 8, 2012

NEW — 3:55 p.m. Feb. 8, 2012

Join the Climb to Fight Breast Cancer’s Kent Henneuse for a discussion on the gear and fundamentals required to climb Washington’s volcanoes at 6 p.m. Feb. 9 at the Coal Creek Family YMCA in Newcastle.

Since 1997, climbers associated with Climb to Fight Breast Cancer have  raised more than $5.5 million to fund critical research conducted at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

Individuals and teams from all regions of the United States can join the Climb to Fight Breast Cancer. All expeditions are guided by professional guide services and climbs are available for first-time climbers and experienced mountaineers.

Learn more about the presentation by calling 282-9059, going to or emailing

CCUD to hold hearing on sewer connection charges

February 7, 2012

NEW — 2:50 p.m. Feb. 7, 2012

The Coal Creek Utility District Board of Commissioners will hold a public hearing at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 8 at the CCUD office at 6801 132nd Place S.E. in Newcastle on the proposed adoption of sewer connection charges related to the Lake Boren Sewer Improvements Project.

The public is invited to attend and address the board regarding the proposed sewer connection charges.

Learn more about the proposed sewer connection charges at the district’s website or by call CCUD General Manager Robert Russell at 235-9200.

Newcastle Cub Scout Pinewood Derby / Jan. 13, 2012

February 7, 2012

Dow Constantine emphasizes partnerships, prosperity in State of the County address

February 7, 2012

NEW — 10:25 a.m. Feb. 7, 2012

King County is akin to the Oakland A’s depicted in the film “Moneyball” — nimble and unconventional — County Executive Dow Constantine declared Monday.

Constantine, in the annual State of the County address, used the baseball team to illustrate a recent effort to streamline county government.

“The county used to be a little like the New York Yankees. Its first response to a problem was to throw money at it,” he said. “Now we’re more like the 2002 Oakland A’s depicted in ‘Moneyball’ – smart and scrappy. Finding inefficiencies in the established system – seeking out the highest performance at the lowest-possible cost. Getting the best value.”

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Fire destroys Newcastle home

February 6, 2012


Newcastle house fire

A home located in the 6400 block of Lake Washington Boulevard S.E. caught fire Feb. 3. Initial damage is reported at $500,000.

NEW — 9:15 a.m. Feb. 6, 2011

A residential fire in Newcastle destroyed a home the afternoon of Feb. 3 and sent one of the occupants to the hospital with minor burns. The home is located in the 6400 block of Lake Washington Boulevard S.E.

The fire was caused by radiant heat from the home’s fireplace that ignited a pile of boxes stacked nearby. The fireplace was located in the home’s sun room area. It progressed through the home by burning through a nearby sliding glass door and entering the kitchen.

Because of working smoke detectors, a 22-year-old woman was able to exit the home without injury.

The woman’s stepfather was also home at the time and was taken to the hospital after he was first found unresponsive with burn injuries, said Bellevue Fire Department Lt. Troy Donlin.

“After he left the scene, those turned out to be very minor injuries and very minor burns,” he said.

The owner of a gas station less than a block away called 911 when heard the smoke detectors and saw smoke coming from the home. Firefighters arrived within five minutes to find the back of the home engulfed in flames, Donlin said.

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