‘Return to Newcastle’ at Newcastle Days

September 6, 2012

Organizers of this year’s Newcastle Days hope to bring a historical flavor to the 2012 event.

The theme of the annual celebration commemorating Newcastle’s incorporation as a town is Return to Newcastle, according to Koleen Morris, the chair of the committee organizing the event.

“We are celebrating our 18th year as a city and we are calling it Return to Newcastle, and we’re trying to put the coalminer’s spin on a couple of things,” Morris said. “For example, we’ve named the beer garden this year the Newcastle Saloon.”

Mayor Rich Crispo has gathered historical trivia about Newcastle, which will be dispersed throughout the vendor booths at the event. Visitors can receive prizes for correct answers.

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Newcastle man dies in motorcycle accident

September 6, 2012

A motorcyclist who died after colliding with a guardrail on Newcastle Golf Club Road on Aug. 10 was identified as Adam Taylor Romero, according to officials from the King County Medical Examiner’s Office

Romero was traveling eastbound on Newcastle Golf Club Road when he came upon a left-hand curve in the road, failed to navigate it and struck the guardrail, according to King County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Sgt. Cindi West.

West said Romero was pronounced dead at Harborview Medical Center.

Adam Taylor Romero, 22, died on Aug. 10 in a motorcycle accident on Newcastle Golf Club Road. Romero is pictured here in an undated photo contributed by his girlfriend, Nicole Lynch.

Romero, originally from Taylorsville, Utah, had recently moved to the Newcastle area after getting work in construction, according to his girlfriend Nicole Lynch.

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Dentist’s license suspended 10 years

September 6, 2012

State health officials have suspended the license of Newcastle dentist Gil Furman for 10 years, according to an Aug. 3 Washington State Department of Health release.

The Dental Quality Assurance Commission charged Furman with unprofessional conduct in June and immediately suspended his license. Furman did not respond to the charges, so the 10-year suspension ends the legal proceedings.

In September 2011, Furman was convicted in King County Superior Court on two counts of communication with a minor for immoral purposes, gross misdemeanors. Furman molested a child from the time she was 13 years old until she was 15, according to Department of Health documents.

Between 2009 and 2010, Furman allegedly prescribed narcotic and non-narcotic medications to three people who weren’t his patients, and didn’t keep records for treating them.

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Garbage service returns to normal

September 6, 2012

Newcastle garbage service returned to normal after Teamsters Local 117 voted to accept a new contract with Waste Management on Aug. 2.

The agreement effectively ended a weeklong strike that disrupted garbage and recycling removal for commercial and residential customers in the Puget Sound area.

In Newcastle, City Manager Rob Wyman said the city was prepared in case the strike went on a week longer.

“There was a lot going on behind the scenes to try and get Waste Management to settle,” he said. “If it had gone the rest of that week, the week that they ultimately settled, we had some plans in place to set up mobile recycling and garbage drop-offs.”

Newcastle residents saw their garbage pile up during the strike. Recycling, in particular, accumulated as the heart of the strike fell on a collection week. Waste Management collects garbage weekly, but recycling is collected every other week in Newcastle.

Wyman said he understood residents’ frustration over the lack of garbage and recycling collection.

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Newcastle seeks to fill vacancy for director of community development

September 6, 2012

The city of Newcastle is in search of a new director of community of development after current director Steve Roberge completed his last day Sept. 4.

Roberge, who has been with the city for more than five years, will head to Istanbul, where his wife received a fellowship.

At the Aug. 21 City Council meeting, councilmembers and City Manager Rob Wyman offered their thanks to Roberge.

“I’d just like to thank Steve for his just over five years of service and dedication to the city of Newcastle,” Wyman said. “He will definitely be missed.”

“I would like to say to Steve Roberge that we are really going to miss him,” said Councilman Bill Erxleben. “It’s a wonderful opportunity for a transcultural experience and it’s one of the great cities in the world. So, congratulations.”

Roberge said he was proud of the projects he worked on during his time with the city, in particular the opening of the Coal Creek Family YMCA and the long-anticipated Newcastle Library.

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Planning Commission seats remain unchanged

September 6, 2012

Jon Simpson and John Drescher will remain on the Planning Commission after the City Council confirmed their appointments at the Aug. 21 City Council meeting.

Five people applied for Planning Commission positions 3 and 4, which were set to expire July 31. Applicants were interviewed by Mayor Rich Crispo, Deputy Mayor Lisa Jensen and Rob Lemmon, chairman of the Planning Commission.

“After listening to all five, and they were all very qualified, we decided unanimously to offer the positions to the incumbents,” Crispo said.

Crispo, Jensen and Lemmon were very impressed by the applicants that were not chosen.

“All three of us were very pleased with the answers that they gave and I would hope that they can stay associated with the city in some other capacity,” Crispo said.

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Rapid Response

September 6, 2012

Would you be in favor of Newcastle being annexed into the city of Bellevue? Why/Why not? 

Negative, Bellevue is full. There’s enough consolidation going on in America. Let’s keep this individuality as long as we can. We can start with our own ZIP code!

— Dave Martinez


Having our own city of Newcastle is probably best for us. We are one the best “small” cities of the country and we can set our own direction.

— Jesse Tam


I’d like to not have to be annexed to any other city, but Bellevue would be my choice if we absolutely saw no other way to keep Newcastle as a city. Bellevue has many more resources to be favorable for us.

— Jackie Foskett


I would like to see a study done on what efficiencies could be gained by annexation. Assuming efficiencies exist then yes I would be in favor. We would still be a unique neighborhood within Bellevue making this place still every bit as nice to live.

— Peter Zevenbergen

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September 6, 2012

Serious traffic problem

Why was city not directing traffic?

I am writing to express my extreme anger at the way the city of Newcastle failed to handle the traffic situation Aug. 16 at the corner of Newcastle Way and Coal Creek Parkway. Traffic was backed up from Interstate 405 all the way up Coal Creek Parkway to the intersection.

A drive that usually takes me 10-12 minutes took more than an hour between 5 and 6:30 p.m. Once arriving at the intersection, I was appalled to discover that the traffic light was out and there was no police presence directing traffic. Instead, drivers were (correctly) treating the intersection like a four-way stop.

Since the huge majority of the traffic at that time of day is travelling south on Coal Creek parkway, this was inefficient and frankly dangerous. As I approached the intersection, an elderly pedestrian was trying to cross Coal Creek Parkway to little avail, until one driver got out of his car and briefly directed traffic himself to ensure the person could cross safely.

Upon my arrival home, I was further appalled to hear from other members of my household that the traffic light had been out since at least 3:30 p.m. I understand from yet another member of my household who was stuck in traffic behind me that the light was not working until after 7 p.m.

When I crossed the intersection at 6:30, there was one employee at the traffic control box on the southeast corner of the intersection working to fix the problem. I am angry that the city failed to provide traffic policing at the intersection, particularly during rush hour at a major intersection of our city, particularly when the situation was easily apparent from the late afternoon. I eagerly await an official explanation from our city officials for their lack of action.

Kathleen Millen


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School begins with need for volunteers

September 6, 2012

This week, Newcastle parents across the Issaquah and Renton school districts walked their kids to the school bus or to their school for the start of a new school year.

Ahhhh, finally, a bit of free time for a second cup of coffee!

But wait, your school needs you! The volunteer jobs at school are endless. The playground needs monitors, the library can use assistance, the front office might need your organizational skills, teachers almost never have enough helpers and the nurse’s office is often in need of a mother’s touch to watch over a sick child.

But the best of the volunteer jobs may be working directly with students. Parents, grandparents and other citizens are always welcome to just listen to children read. For a bigger role, ask about becoming a mentor to a student, helping guide him or her in his or her social development and studies — or sometimes just to be there to listen.

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Laughing all the way – I’m hacked

September 6, 2012

About a month ago, my email address was hacked and used for nefarious purposes. It wouldn’t be fair to publicly rake my email provider over the coals since it was later reported that three other providers had been compromised as well, but I will admit that when I opened my inbox and saw what was happening, I said, “Hey. Oh hell.”

Then came the alerts from helpful friends letting me know that it looked like I’d been hacked, because they had received emails from my address with no verbiage in the subject line and only a suspicious hyperlink in the body. I tried to stem the digital bleed by sending out an email to my entire address book telling people to ignore it. That act was only marginally successful, and I was buried with ominous MAILER DAEMON messages into the night, advising me that these people or addresses no longer existed.

I get these kinds of emails from friends all the time, and I simply ignore them. I’ve come to believe that most folks are fairly Internet savvy and realize that if Aunt Maude in Peoria, who usually asks for the latest baby pictures and provides a list of the recently deceased in exchange, sends an email and it only shows a link that includes the words “babes+boobs” in it … well, then something is afoot and it’s probably not really an email from Aunt Maude in Peoria after all.

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