Liberty graduate wins PEMCO contest

December 6, 2012

PEMCO Insurance introduced audiences to Sandals & Socks Guy, Goat Renter Guy and First Snowflake Freakout Lady through its offbeat advertising campaign highlighting Northwest Profiles.

Now, you can add I Don’t Need Sunscreen Guy to the list of quirky Northwest characters, after the company announced the winner of its contest seeking new profiles for the “We’re A Lot Like You. A Little Different.” advertising campaign.

Liberty High School graduate Alex Bell and a team of fellow University of Southern California students created the 30-second video poking fun at Northwesterners who leave the sunscreen at home in the hopes of soaking up the sun on their way to a natural tan. But the result is often more sunburn than tan, as the video illustrated.

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State seeks input on environmental rule change

December 6, 2012

The state Department of Ecology is collecting public input on a proposed rule to give local governments, including Issaquah and King County, more flexibility for small construction projects.

The draft rule change to the State Environmental Policy Act aims to allow local governments more leeway to exempt minor construction projects from review under the law, such as small-scale residential housing developments, as well as certain agricultural, commercial office and school buildings.

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Costco challenges Quebec’s language requirement

December 6, 2012

Issaquah-based Costco and other major retailers have challenged the Quebec government in court over the Canadian province’s strict language laws.

The laws require retailers to post signs and serve customers in French, the predominant language in Quebec. The province’s French language office called for retailers to add French phrases or slogans to signs, or face fines and legal action.

The plaintiffs’ suit, filed in October, asked the Quebec Superior Court to assess the French language office’s policy change.

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Chamber gives out its 2012 Diamond Awards

December 6, 2012

The Newcastle Chamber of Commerce recognized outstanding community members with its 2012 Diamond Awards at a Nov. 14 luncheon held at The Golf Club at Newcastle.

A recipient of a Diamond Award is chosen based on his or her contribution to the community of Newcastle.

This year there were six award categories including business, citizenship, community leadership, customer service, education and employee.

Claudio Guincher accepted an award on behalf of Lake Boren Townhomes, which received the Diamond Award in the business category. The business award is given to a Newcastle business that donates time, energy or resources for community events.

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YMCA group creates stockings for local needy families and children

December 6, 2012

The women of the Coal Creek Family YMCA’s active older adult program are giving back this holiday season with special handcrafted stockings for families in need.

A handful of women gathered at the YMCA Nov. 27, to fill stockings and bags with treats for men, women and children living in shelters.

It’s not the first year that the group has organized a holiday giving program, but this year’s haul is the biggest yet.

By Christina Corrales-Toy
Members of the Coal Creek Family YMCA’s active older adult program sift through mounds of treats as they fill stockings that will be donated to families in need.

The group prepared more than 100 stockings for children, 16 goody bags for teens, 100 bags for women and 100 for men.

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Newcastle dancer performs in ‘Nutcracker’

December 6, 2012

Few things signify that it’s the holiday season in the Northwest more than a trip to McCaw Hall to dazzle in the magical experience that is the Pacific Northwest Ballet’s “Nutcracker.”

It’s one of the most recognized and celebrated productions in the world, complete with graceful dancing, stunning props and the familiar sounds of Tchaikovsky’s distinguished score.

The show premiered in 1983 and it has continued to enchant audiences ever since.

By Lindsay Thomas
Caitlin Buri, of Newcastle, tries on her costume during dress rehearsals for Pacific Northwest Ballet’s ‘Nutcracker.’

For the past three years, 10-year-old Newcastle resident Caitlin Buri has been a part of the cast that brings holiday cheer to patrons across the Northwest.

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Rose Coulter Wisner

December 6, 2012

Rose Coulter Wisner was born Aug. 17, 1963, in Seattle, and died Nov. 9, 2012, at Evergreen Hospice in Kirkland.

Wife and mother of three, she was a dedicated volunteer at St. Madeleine Sophie Catholic School in Bellevue, St. Monica Parish School on Mercer Island, and a stalwart rider and fundraiser for the Northwest JDRF Ride-to-Cure Diabetes team.

She grew up the third of four children in Montesano, graduated Cum Laude from the Washington State University Edward R. Murrow College of Communications in Pullman in 1985, and worked as a writer and producer for KIRO-TV for 11 years.

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Ruminations on the back 40

December 6, 2012

According to the King County parcel map, it’s 49,733 square feet, only an acre and small change. It belongs to the city of Newcastle and is described as “drainage and open area,” but it’s more than that. Its meaning to us dwarfs its relative size because it abuts our backyard and those of the Good Neighbors to the North and South, and it’s why we bought the house in the first place.

It’s property that’s not ours, and yet by osmosis and proximity, it is. Let’s call it our “fakerage.”

When we moved from the Midwest to Bellevue 40 years ago, we were surprised by the notion of greenbelts since there were none on the Illinois prairies. We’d lived at the edge of small farm towns a few blocks from cornfields and hedgerows, so communing with nature took only desire, 10 minutes and a decent pair of boots. Now — as we watch the Pugetopolis population climb eastward and up the hills — we understand and appreciate the notion of green space in ways that we never did before.

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John Urquhart takes office sheriff

December 6, 2012

John Urquhart assumed office as King County sheriff Nov. 28, months after retiring as the agency’s longtime spokesman.

Urquhart, a former sheriff’s office sergeant, defeated the incumbent sheriff, Steve Strachan, 56 percent to 43 percent, after a contentious campaign.

Strachan, a former Kent police chief, and Urquhart debated how to lead the sheriff’s office after a series of audits lambasted how the agency operates.

The sheriff oversees a budget of about $150 million and about 1,000 employees, and leads the largest local police organization in the state after the Seattle Police Department.

Urquhart won election to fill the remaining year in former Sheriff Sue Rahr’s unexpired term, and is due to face voters again next year.



December 6, 2012


Holiday Kickoff and Tree Lighting Celebration, presented by Chiropractic Wellness, is from 5-6 p.m. Dec. 7 at 6965 Coal Creek Parkway S.E. There will be hot chocolate and candy canes, with a chance to win a free massage. Call 641-7470.

The Hazen Players present “A Christmas Carol” Dec. 7-8 at 1101 Hoquiam Ave. N.E., Renton. Call 204-4200.

The Newcastle Chamber of Commerce monthly luncheon is from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Dec. 12 at Tapatio Mexican Grill, 6920 Coal Creek Parkway S.E. Guest speaker is to be determined. Cost is $20 for members, $25 for nonmembers.

A 5-Chamber Networking Breakfast, with members from the Issaquah, Sammamish, Mercer Island and Snoqualmie Valley chambers of commerce, is from 7:30-9:30 a.m. Dec. 14 at The Egg & Us, 375 N.W. Gilman Blvd., Issaquah. Cost is $15 for members, $25 for nonmembers. Make reservations at

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