Create quirky characters for PEMCO campaign

October 4, 2012

PEMCO Insurance introduced audiences to Goat Renter Guy, Smug Hybrid Driver and Walla Walla Wine Wine Woman Woman through a quirky advertising campaign.

Now, Pacific Northwest residents can provide the inspiration for the next Northwest Profile. Folks can submit video auditions in a contest to determine another addition to the Seattle-based insurer’s “We’re A Lot Like You. A Little Different.” advertising campaign.

The call for video auditions allows participants to celebrate the values shared by Northwesterners, and prove why their attributes qualify as the most uniquely Northwest and worthy of Northwest Profile fame.

Through Oct. 25, users can go to to upload a 60-second video audition detailing their Northwest traits. The format and organization are up to the videographer.

The finalists have a chance to win more than $18,000 in prizes and Northwest experiences.

In a story featured in the September edition of the Newcastle News, Newcastle resident Lorinda Eklund said she was inspired by PEMCO Insurance’s Goat Renter Guy when she used goats to manage her overgrown yard.

Officers bust 1,603 motorists for DUI

October 4, 2012

Officers from law enforcement agencies in the state arrested 1,603 motorists for driving under the influence during the Drive Hammered, Get Nailed enforcement campaign from Aug. 17 to Sept. 3.

In King County, officers on routine and extra patrols arrested 364 motorists for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

In the same period last year, King County officers arrested 452 people for DUI. Statewide, officers arrested 1,824 motorists during the 2011 patrols.

The campaign included officers from the Newcastle, Issaquah, Bellevue, North Bend, Sammamish, Snoqualmie and Renton police departments, in addition to the Washington State Patrol.

The funding for extra patrols originated as a grant from the Washington Traffic Safety Commission.

County earmarks dollars for veterans programs

October 4, 2012

King County leaders agreed Sept. 10 to spend $3.4 million to help veterans find counseling, employment and housing.

The dollars, approved by the King County Council, come from the Veterans and Human Services Levy approved by voters last year.

The spending includes $2.3 million for veterans’ housing capital and supportive services; more than $300,000 for a veterans’ aerospace training initiative; and more than $80,000 for increased post traumatic stress disorder treatment and military family counseling.

“This funding makes it possible to honor and help our returning veterans by creating the stability of permanent housing and employment opportunities for living wage jobs in our burgeoning aerospace community,” County Executive Dow Constantine said in a statement.

Department of Licensing increases fees Oct. 1

October 4, 2012

Motorists should prepare for increased driver and vehicle fees from the state Department of Licensing soon.

Starting Oct. 1, the agency is enacting a series of increases authorized by state legislators. Officials said the hikes should help offset operation and maintenance costs for roads, bridges, ferries and other transportation infrastructure.

The fee to receive a driver’s license or state identification card, or to renew a license or ID card, rises from $25 to $45. The revision increases the commercial driver’s license fee from $61 to $85.

Registration fees also increase Oct. 1. The cost for a certificate of ownership application, for instance, rises from $5 to $15.

Find a complete list of fees at the Department of Licensing website,

Scrubbing in for a day of brain surgery

October 4, 2012

Newcastle resident Max Kosobutsky was among those invited by the Swedish Neuroscience Institute to become brain surgeons for a day Aug. 24.

The event, hosted by the Ben and Catherine Ivy Center for Advanced Brain Tumor Treatment, was held at Swedish’s Cherry Hill campus in Seattle.

The purpose of the event was to give participants a look into the work being done to cure brain cancer and raise awareness of one of the most malignant cancers in the world, which affects more than 22,000 people in the United States.

By Greg Farrar
Max Kosobutsky (right), of Newcastle, a Bellevue College student, is guided by Medtronic clinical specialist Lisa Echandia as he inserts a stealth navigation pointer into a plastic head model, which combined with a magnetic field emitter, shows the structure of a brain.

The 20-year-old Newcastle resident had the chance to closely examine a human brain, experiment with surgical devices and learn about brain surgery from Dr. Greg Foltz, a neurosurgeon at the Swedish Neuroscience Institute.

Kosobutsky, a student at Bellevue College, said he hopes to enter the medical field in the future, which is why he jumped at the chance to become a brain surgeon for a day.

“I’m an aspiring nursing student and I’m very interested to get as much experience and different viewpoints from other people about the field itself so that I get an idea of what I’m going into,” he said. “So, I can definitely relate it to my career interests. I didn’t think twice about signing up for it.”

The day began with a presentation from Foltz, who showed the group a video of a brain surgery he performed just days before.

Read more

Veronica Austin named National Merit semifinalist

October 4, 2012

Liberty High School student Veronica Austin qualified as a semifinalist in the 58th annual National Merit Scholarship Program.

Austin is among 16,000 high school seniors across the nation who are in the running for 8,400 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $32 million.

Students began by completing the 2011 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. The nationwide pool of semifinalists, which represents less than 1 percent of seniors, includes the highest scoring entrants in each state.

Local students make WSU honor roll

October 4, 2012

The following students were named to Washington State University’s president’s honor roll for the 2012 summer semester.

To qualify, students must be enrolled in a minimum of nine graded hours in a single term and earn a grade point average of 3.75 or earn a 3.5 cumulative GPA based on 15 cumulative hours of graded work.

Newcastle: Michaela Calderon and Paul Williams

Renton: Allison Adams, Shelby Lyonais, Nicholas Mead, Georgia Mee, Rodney Pearce, Thor Steingrimsson and Sarah Wilcock


October 4, 2012



Newcastle 2012 Fall Recycling Collection Event, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Oct. 6, Renton Academy parking lot, 7100 116th Ave. S.E.

The community is invited to join Beit Tikvah Messianic Congregation from 7-9 p.m. Oct. 8 at 7935 136th Ave. S.E. Celebrate with worship and Messianic dance. Learn more by calling 793-3000 or emailing

The Newcastle Chamber of Commerce monthly luncheon is from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Oct. 10 at Tapatio Mexican Grill, 6920 Coal Creek Parkway S.E. Guest speaker is yet to be determined. Cost is $20 for members and $25 for nonmembers. RSVP by emailing

Newcastle Health & Safety Fair is from 6-7:30 p.m. Oct. 24 at Hazelwood Elementary School commons, 7100 116th Ave. S.E. Join Valley Medical Center, Puget Sound Energy, Chiropractic Wellness Centers and other Newcastle Chamber businesses and nonprofit organizations to educate and support the community safety, health and wellness.

The Newcastle Weed Warriors are hosting an Arbor Day tree planting party from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 13 at Lake Boren Park, 13058 S.E. 84th Way. Learn more at

Public meetings


All city public meetings are at City Hall, 12835 Newcastle Way, Suite 200. Call 649-4444.

  • Economic and Community Development committee — 8-9 a.m. Oct. 9
  •  Parks Commission — 6-8 p.m. Oct. 10
  •  City Council regular meeting — 7-10 p.m. Oct. 16
  • Planning Commission — 7-9 p.m. Oct. 17
  •  City Council meeting — 7-10 p.m. Oct. 2

The Newcastle Trails board meets the first Monday of the month at 7 p.m. at the Regency Newcastle, 7454 Newcastle Golf Club Road. Learn more at

The Weed Warriors annual planning meeting for 2013 is from 6-7 p.m. Oct. 8 at Fire Station No. 9 meeting room, 12412 S.E. 69th Way. Learn more at



The Coal Creek Family YMCA, 13750 Newcastle Golf Club Road, has regular family programs for all ages. Get a complete schedule by calling 282-1500 or go to

  •  “Spooky Science,” for ages 3-11, 6-10 p.m. Oct. 6, $30 for members, $35 for nonmembers
  •  “Planning for a Confident Retirement,” for adults, 6:30-7:30 p.m. Oct. 9
  •  Trick or Treat family dinner, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Oct. 12, $5 per adult, $3 per child
  •  “Invest in Your Child’s Future Without Sacrifice,” for adults, 6:30-7:30 p.m. Oct. 16
  •  “Fun with Food 2,” 5:30-6:15 p.m. Oct. 17, $5 for members, $10 for nonmembers
  • “Healthy Body Image: Teaching Kids to Eat and Love Their Bodies,” 4-5 p.m. Thursdays, Oct. 18 through Jan. 3, $75
  •  Rookies Basketball League, for ages 3-4, 9-11 a.m. Nov. 3 through Dec. 15, $42 for members, $73.50 for nonmembers
  •  Rookies Basketball League, for ages 5-6, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 3 through Dec. 15, $42 for members, $73.50 for nonmembers
  • Bowling Event — Westerners, 3-5 p.m. Nov. 4, $13

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Volunteers needed to help with tree planting event

October 4, 2012

The city of Newcastle will again host its Arbor Day tree planting event, and it is seeking volunteers to help.

This year’s event takes place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 13. The location has not yet been decided, but it will most likely take place somewhere in the May Creek corridor.

Volunteers help plant a tree at last year’s Arbor Day tree planting event along the East May Creek Trail.

The city will update its website at when a location is chosen.

At last year’s event, the city sought volunteers to plant 250 trees along the East May Creek Trail.

The city celebrates Arbor Day now due to better planting conditions.

Hazelwood community garden beginning to show signs of life

October 4, 2012

By Christina Corrales-Toy
Peter O’Donoghue shows his daughter Micaela, a kindergartner at Hazelwood Elementary School, how to maneuver a wrench as they construct garden boxes for the school’s community garden Sept. 15.

When Hazelwood Elementary School teacher Kate Ingalls reflects upon her childhood, one of the many things that stands out is her work in the family garden.

“I grew up digging in the dirt and growing things,” she said. “My dad always let me have a corner of the garden to do whatever I wanted to do.”

Now, the second-grade teacher wants to bring that outdoor experience to the school’s students by establishing a Hazelwood community garden filled with trees, plants and vegetables.

Read more

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