Police respond to incident near Castle Creek Apartments

December 6, 2012

NEW — 2:45 p.m. Dec. 6, 2012

Personnel from the Bellevue and Newcastle police departments, as well as the King County Sheriff’s Office responded to a family disturbance incident that originated in Bellevue, but ended in Newcastle just before 9 a.m. Dec. 6.

While the incident originated in Bellevue, the person involved then traveled to Newcastle, where he was surrounded by police near the Castle Creek Apartments, 7000 132nd Place S.E., said Newcastle Police Chief Melinda Irvine.

The person was then taken into custody.

Witnesses reported they saw a helicopter hovering above, and several police cars at the site at around 9 a.m. this morning.

No further details were immediately available.

Former Hazelwood educator named Renton’s interim superintendent

December 6, 2012

NEW — 10:55 a.m. Dec. 6, 2012

Vera Risdon, Renton School District’s assistant superintendent, will serve as interim superintendent when Mary Alice Heuschel transitions to her new position as Gov.-elect Jay Inslee’s chief of staff in January.

Risdon will serve during the expected months-long search for a new superintendent.

The Renton School Board voted unanimously to name Risdon, who has been an educator in Renton for 46 years, to the post.

Risdon began her career with the district as a teacher at Hazelwood Elementary School, and she went on to teach at five different Renton schools from 1966 to 1982, including McKnight Middle School. Read more

Newcastle Library opens Dec. 8

December 6, 2012

By Christina Corrales-Toy
Library assistant Andy Akada places books on the shelves ahead of the library’s Dec. 8 grand opening.

It’s been several years in the making, but the time has finally arrived. The Newcastle Library will open its doors to the community the morning of Dec. 8.

Patrons won’t be able to avoid the new book smell as the shelves in the 11,000-square-foot building will be filled to the brim with more than 40,000 new items on opening day.

Read more

Friends group can’t wait for library opening

December 6, 2012

The Newcastle Library’s Dec. 8 opening could not come soon enough for members of the Friends of the Newcastle Library group.

The group’s secretary, Sue Beverly, likened the anticipation to an eager child waiting to open presents the day before Christmas.

“Every time I think about it I just get the giggles,” she said.

Friends groups are common in the King County Library System. There are currently more than 35 Friends groups, according to the KCLS website. The groups hold ongoing book sales and collect membership dues to raise funds to support special projects and activities for their local libraries.

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Council passes 2013 budget with few changes

December 6, 2012

Several transportation projects put on the books

The Newcastle City Council voted to pass its 2013 budget at its Dec. 4 meeting, and other than adding transportation projects, it does not look significantly different from the document presented to the council about two months ago.

The 2013 budget does not add any new taxes, with the council deciding against taking an allowable 1 percent increase in property tax, even though it did so a year ago.

With the city in better financial shape, including an expected $200,000 surplus from 2012, and a 2013 budget that is balanced, the council did not see a viable reason to take the 1 percent.

“It’s pretty clear for me,” Councilman Steve Buri said at the Nov. 20 meeting. “If you don’t need the money, don’t take it from the taxpayers. And we have a balanced budget, so why in the world would we raise taxes even a modest amount?”

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Chamber alters its structure for the new year

December 6, 2012

After receiving feedback from its members, the Newcastle Chamber of Commerce will hire a part-time executive director in an effort to increase its presence in the Newcastle business community.

A 2011 survey put out by the chamber asked its members whether it would like to see more networking events, and if so, would they be willing to pay higher dues to foot the bill.

“We got an overwhelming response saying that they wanted more opportunities,” said Angela Wingate, chairwoman of the Newcastle Chamber of Commerce.

An executive director will allow the chamber to enhance its member services, Wingate said. It will be the executive director’s job to find ways to provide more programs, networking opportunities and general benefits for chamber members.

“The chamber is a unique way for businesses to be able to promote themselves because it’s more of a personalized approach in meeting with people and being able to network,” Wingate said. “Besides the chamber, there are no other opportunities here in Newcastle for businesses to get to know each other and help support each other.”

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Chiropractic Wellness Center hosts 12 days of Christmas

December 6, 2012

The Chiropractic Wellness Center will officially kick off the holiday season with a tree-lighting ceremony at 5 p.m. Dec. 7 at its office, 6965 Coal Creek Parkway S.E.

Attendees can get in the holiday spirit with hot chocolate and candy canes as they watch the ceremony.

It will also be the first day in the center’s 12 days of Christmas promotion, which will award prizes every weekday through Dec. 24.

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City hires new director of community development

December 6, 2012

Tim McHarg has been hired as the city’s new director of community development.

The position became available after Steve Roberge, who had been with the city for more than five years, headed to Istanbul, where his wife received a fellowship, in early September. City Manager Rob Wyman had assumed the position’s duties since.

The city held a meet-and-greet with the three final candidates Oct. 24 and put the applicants through a thorough interview process, which included a mock Newcastle City Council meeting.

“It was literally like he had worked here for a year,” Wyman said of McHarg’s interview. “He understood the issues, he understood the city and he was calm, cool and collected up there while we were grilling him.”

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Editorial

December 6, 2012

Council, staff should be applauded for budget

City Manager Rob Wyman, Finance Director Chris Olson and the entire Newcastle City Council should be applauded for their work on the city’s 2013 budget.

In a landscape where citizens are often being asked to shoulder taxes upon taxes to help cities stay afloat during difficult economic times, the City Council approved a 2013 budget that includes no new taxes.

On top of that, the 2013 budget increases public safety, adequately funds pavement management and works quickly to fix the Coal Creek Parkway issues.

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Rapid Response

December 6, 2012

In honor of the Newcastle Library’s grand opening, what is your favorite book and why?

My favorite book is Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring.” It was the driving force that opened people’s eyes to issues and the long-range complications of not understanding how we affect the health of our environment. It tweaked the consciousness, catapulting the environmental movement. She died early of cancer, but I’m sure she would have had a lot more to say.

— Grace Stiller

 

Mine would be “A Child’s Garden of Verses.” Having learned it by heart from reading it so many times to my children, I often recite a stanza or two from one of the poems to mark one of those quotidian, but still heart-lifting moments — “How do you like to go up in a swing, up in the sky so blue…” or “In winter, I get up at night and dress by yellow candlelight…” Like music, it never loses its lilt.

— Sue Beverly

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