Keep Newcastle’s identity here, not in Bellevue

October 4, 2012

By Contributor

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As Newcastle gathered to celebrate the city’s 18th year of existence at Newcastle Days on Sept. 8, we were reminded of the exceptional qualities that make the city one of the best in the nation.

The city’s spirit of volunteerism and its unique coal-mining history were on full, glorious display, making us question how anyone could entertain disbanding the city and joining Bellevue.

CNN Money Magazine selected Newcastle among the top 25 best places to live in the nation in 2009 and 2011.

In the magazine’s 2011 article, which ranked the city 18th, the author highlighted the culture of volunteerism.

“Despite serious budget cuts that threatened the city’s summer 2011 events, local businesses and citizens offered time and cash to keep the community’s concerts and fireworks afloat,” the magazine said.

With committed volunteers from groups such as Weed Warriors, Newcastle Trails and the planning committee for Newcastle Days, it is evident that local community members are dedicated to the well-being of this city.

Residents seem to appreciate the Newcastle identity, as evidenced by the city’s attempts to procure its own ZIP code when it incorporated in 1994, and again in 2004 and 2009.

A 2009 survey showed residents overwhelmingly supported the city’s efforts to obtain its own ZIP code; 95 percent of respondents said it would better establish the city’s identity.

While the city was not granted its ZIP code, the survey showed residents value the city’s own unique identity, something that may be difficult to secure within Bellevue, a city of more than 120,000 people.

Too many people work too hard to make Newcastle special. Why throw it away to become just another small part of Bellevue?

Newcastle has a good thing going. It’s not time to close up shop.

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