Council hosts final meeting of the year

December 16, 2013

NEW — 7:10 p.m. Dec. 16, 2013

The Newcastle City Council will host its final meeting of the year Dec. 17, and it looks to be a busy one, judging by the full agenda.

The City Council will talk about the Community Activities Commission’s work plan for the year, and decide if they want to continue to have a Council liaison to the board.

The Council will also consider a pair of ordinances adopting two new funds: A public arts fund and a historical preservation fund.

Finally, council members will consider a moratorium on recreational marijuana businesses and medical marijuana collective gardens. Read more

Applications for Commission vacancy due Dec. 16

December 14, 2013

NEW — 3 p.m. Dec. 14, 2013

John Drescher’s election to the City Council means the Newcastle Planning Commission has a vacancy, and the city is seeking applicants for the position.

Drescher’s position will be vacated by Dec. 31. A newly appointed commissioner will begin serving the unexpired term Jan. 1 and will continue until July 31, 2016.

Applicants must be at least 18 years of age, and reside within the city or its potential annexation areas as set forth in the Comprehensive Plan.

Interested parties should submit an application, letter of interest and résumé to the City Clerk’s office by 5 p.m. Dec. 16. Read more

Local businesses host Toys for Tots event

December 11, 2013

NEW — 4:35 p.m. Dec. 11, 2013

The Newcastle community is invited to help make the holidays a little brighter for children in need by contributing a gift at a Dec. 14 Toys for Toys event.

Newcastle Fruit and Produce and Newcastle Heated Storage have teamed up to host the daylong event, while the Newcastle Starbucks will provide coffee and pastries.

Attendees can drop off new, unwrapped toys at the Newcastle Fruit and Produce stand from noon to 4 p.m. Dec. 14.

The primary goal of Toys for Tots is to deliver, through a new toy at Christmas, a message of hope to less fortunate youngsters that will assist them in becoming responsible, productive, patriotic citizens.

Cornerstone Studio’s ‘The Nutcracker’ is its biggest ever

December 10, 2013

By Christina Corrales-Toy Cornerstone Studio students use the mirror to watch their movements as they rehearse for the dance school’s production of “The Nutcracker.”

By Christina Corrales-Toy
Cornerstone Studio students use the mirror to watch their movements as they rehearse for the dance school’s production of “The Nutcracker.”

The classic holiday ballet “The Nutcracker” is infamous for its Tchaikovsky-scored elegance and timeless story.

The show is performed in studios across the country, punctuated by extravagant sets, glamorous costumes and opulent choreography.

Cornerstone Studio’s production includes all of the grace and style of the original, but it is also likely the only one that mixes in a break-dancing scene or two. Read more

Chamber hosts final luncheon of the year

December 9, 2013

NEW — 2:45 p.m. Dec. 9, 2013

The Newcastle Chamber of Commerce will host professional life coach Nancy Carlstrom at its Dec. 11 luncheon.

Carlstrom will share tips and tools to minimize the holiday stress, including:

  • Understanding the functions and power of the right and left brain
  • Recognizing the brain can be used as a record of the past or as a road map to the future
  • Utilizing cognitive behavior strategies intended to put a new spin on an old story
  • Finding the power to keep the “happy” in your Happy Holidays Read more

Notes from Newcastle: A bittersweet decadence farewell

December 5, 2013

I woke up Nov. 9, startled by a frightening nightmare.

It involved Sandra Wixon and the Sweet Decadence team. I dreamed that the “living room” of Newcastle was set to close.

“Oh, good,” I thought to myself as I awoke, “it was all a dream.”

Then, a moment later, I realized it wasn’t a dream; and the nightmare was no coincidence, given that I had heard just a day earlier the iconic business was relocating to The Landing in Renton.

As reality began to set in, a knot formed in my stomach. Read more

John Drescher wins City Council race

December 4, 2013

John Drescher celebrated Election Day with friends and family who were packed to the rim in The Wooly Toad at The Golf Club at Newcastle.

At about 8:15 p.m., he was sitting alone in a corner, glued to his computer. When he clicked refresh, he saw the results, and called his wife Sally over to show her the outcome.

The screen showed Drescher with an insurmountable lead that night, and it only grew as he defeated challenger Mark Greene in the Newcastle City Council’s only contested race.

Read more

Library celebrates first anniversary

December 4, 2013

Newcastle residents waited years for their own library, enduring setback after setback, so when it finally opened its doors Dec. 8, 2012, the community turned out in droves.

As soon as doors opened that December morning, patrons flooded the entrance, and even more stood in a long line, snaked around the building, waiting for their turn to immerse themselves in that brand new book smell.

Flash forward a year later and the library has become an integral part of the community, standing as an architectural marvel with its glass-lined façade, in downtown Newcastle.

“It is well used,” said Kirsten Corning, librarian services manager. “I have a feeling, though, give it two or three more years and it will be really well used.”

Read more

Public safety, additional staff highlight 2014 budget

December 4, 2013

The Newcastle City Council wrapped up its 2014 budget deliberations in early December, finishing a process that began with a July retreat, and ends with a sizable projected surplus.

Boosted mainly by incoming development revenue, and improving sales tax funds, city finances appear relatively sound for the short-term future, with an anticipated surplus of more than $100,000 in 2014.

The budget does not add any new taxes, with the council deciding against taking an allowable 1 percent increase in property tax for the second straight year.

Read more

And the Diamond Award goes to…

December 4, 2013

As Newcastle City Councilman John Dulcich approached the podium to present the first Diamond Award of the evening Nov. 13, the audience was quiet.

Moments later, the first sniffle emanated through the Prestwick Terrace, followed by another and another.

By Christina Corrales-Toy The 2013 Diamond Award recipients (above, from left) Steve Fortescue, on behalf of son Jon, Madeline Dalton, Elizabeth Widseth and son Trevor Yarnell, Jim Price, Lea Lo and Akina Moscinski and Paul Reynolds (at right) show of their new hardware at the Newcastle Chamber of Commerce’s annual ceremony Nov. 13.

By Christina Corrales-Toy
The 2013 Diamond Award recipients (above, from left) Steve Fortescue, on behalf of son Jon, Madeline Dalton, Elizabeth Widseth and son Trevor Yarnell, Jim Price, Lea Lo and Akina Moscinski and Paul Reynolds (at right) show of their new hardware at the Newcastle Chamber of Commerce’s annual ceremony Nov. 13.

The tears were flowing by the time Dulcich finished his dedication, and not a seat was occupied as the audience stood to honor a man that meant so much to the Newcastle community.

Read more

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