Newcastle 2035 sets blueprint for city’s future

July 5, 2013

Commission sets plan for public participation in comp plan update

What will Newcastle look like in the year 2035?

Will the city’s downtown core grow? What will happen with Lake Boren? How will neighborhoods and the general populace change?

No one knows for sure how the city will transform two decades from now, but current Newcastle residents have the opportunity to contribute their vision of the city’s future as the Planning Commission works to update the Comprehensive Plan.

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A touch too much

July 5, 2013

Massage therapist’s license suspended for sexual misconduct

State health officials suspended the license of Newcastle massage therapist Matthew E. Usher, according to a June 12 Washington State Department of Health release.

A charge of sexual misconduct with a patient at Newcastle’s Massage Envy led the state agency to immediately suspend his license.

Usher was criminally charged in King County Superior Court with indecent liberties, after he allegedly reached under the draping and touched a patient’s breast during a massage treatment. He pleaded not guilty in March and a subsequent hearing is scheduled for July 11.

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Boy Scout Sam Simpson-Gordon earns Eagle rank

July 5, 2013

Newcastle resident Sam Simpson-Gordon, of Troop 638, recently earned the rank of Eagle Scout.

Simpson-Gordon’s Eagle Scout project was completed on the May Creek Trail in Newcastle, with the help of Newcastle Trails’ Peggy Price.

Sam Simpson-Gordon

Sam Simpson-Gordon

He led a team of volunteers that improved a 100-foot portion of the May Creek Trail. The group widened and leveled the trail, built stone retaining walls and dug out roots to make the trail meet Newcastle’s standards.

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City secures grant for cemetery

July 5, 2013

One of Newcastle’s best kept secrets is hidden along 129th Avenue Southeast. Travel down the road nestled between the Newcastle Library and Valley Medical Center, and you will eventually come upon an important relic of the city’s past.

There is arguably no greater symbol of the city’s rich coal mining history than the Newcastle Historic Cemetery, which serves as the resting place for many of the miners.

The 2.2-acre cemetery was established in the late 1880s. King County designated it a historical landmark in 1982, and the city of Newcastle took ownership of the site in 2001.

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Graduation tears

July 5, 2013

I’ll admit it. Every time I hear Vitamin C’s “Graduation,” Green Day’s “Good Riddance” or good old-fashioned “Pomp and Circumstance” at a graduation, I am going to cry.

It won’t be a full-on bawl. No, I can hold myself together; but I can’t guarantee that my eyes won’t subtly leak at least a couple of times during the ceremony.

Christina Corrales-Toy

Christina Corrales-Toy

Such was the case last month when I attended Hazen High School’s graduation June 13 and the Newcastle and Hazelwood elementary school fifth-grade promotions June 18. Staff photographer Greg Farrar handled the Liberty High School duties.

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Editorial

July 5, 2013

Full-time detective is good for Newcastle

At the June 4 City Council meeting, City Manager Rob Wyman announced that Newcastle’s preliminary 2013 population was up to 10,640.

Just a short time later, the council took a significant step toward improving the public safety of those residents by directing Wyman to bump the city’s half-time detective to full time next year.

Given that Newcastle is the only King County partner city without its own full-time detective, this move was long overdue, and quite welcome.

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Community Activities Commission welcomes new members

July 5, 2013

The Newcastle Parks Commission officially became the Community Activities Commission in March, and since the transition began, the group has welcomed three new members.

Linda Newing, Jim Price and Russ Segner were all unanimously appointed to the commission, joining Diane Lewis, Jesse Tam, Angela Ursino and Craig Belcher.

The duties of the commission have not changed significantly, but as the new name suggests, coordination of community events is now a priority.

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Local student named to Gonzaga president’s list

July 5, 2013

Sarah Morgan, of Newcastle, was recently named to the 2013 spring semester president’s list at Gonzaga University, in Spokane, Wash. To qualify, students must earn a 3.5 to 3.69 grade-point average.

 

Library wins architecture award

July 5, 2013

Mithun Architects received an American Institute of Architects Washington Civic Design Award for their work on the Newcastle Library.

Newcastle Library received a Merit Award for its welcoming aesthetic and deep green features.

When visitors first step into the library, they enter the reading room, a multifunctional space that includes a teen area, computers and an endless collection of books, music, movies and magazines.

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Dance like no one’s watching except Jack

July 5, 2013

I love to dance, but I’m only proficient on my own. I was the eldest of three sisters and took the male lead when we taught ourselves how to Jitterbug or Waltz as kids, thus ruining it for The Sainted One and anyone else who has tried to move me about the floor without resistance. When I was in high school, stand-alones were the rage — the Twist, the Frug, the Jerk — and when a slow song came on, it was sufficient to drape your arms around your date’s neck and shuffle side-to-side. So my enthusiasm for dance is a solo thing. I find solace in The Electric Slide.

To feed my love of movement, I take Zumba at the Y twice a week. I take the daytime “Gold” version, tamer than the nighttime sessions but still a challenge: Sixty minutes of nonstop movement, steps, pivots, arm waving, dipping and twirling. One thing I’ve noticed after years of attending is that young children are mesmerized by our sessions. It’s difficult for parents to pull their charges down the hallway once they’ve heard the music and spotted us through the wide gym doors. Their little bodies begin to sway and their feet and arms move as they attempt to mimic our choreography.

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