Council elects mayor, deputy mayor

February 6, 2014

The Newcastle City Council ushered in 2014 with elections for the mayor and deputy mayor positions at its Jan. 7 meeting.

Steve Buri will serve as mayor, while newcomer John Drescher is the new deputy mayor. Both will serve two-year terms.

“I’ve enjoyed my time on the council and having a voice in the direction of the city, but the real excitement is the future, and the next two years, I think, will be among the most exciting in the city’s history,” Buri said.

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Liberty High School singers nominated for Diamond Award

February 6, 2014

The Liberty High School volunteer choir that performed at A Very Newcastle Christmas, the first-ever Newcastle community Christmas tree lighting event at Newcastle Fruit & Produce, has been nominated for a 2014 Diamond Award.

Contributed Members of the Liberty High School choir perform at A Very Newcastle Christmas Celebration at the Newcastle Fruit & Produce stand in November.

Contributed
Members of the Liberty High School choir perform at A Very Newcastle Christmas Celebration at the Newcastle Fruit & Produce stand in November.

Gabby Smith, Leah Jackman, Taylor Santos, Hailey Gumm, Sarah Edmonds, Courtney Santos, Jason Jarmin, Katy Orr, Cassi Cox, Jaylen Jackman, Colby McFarland-Knutson and Hannah Edmonds all took time out of their holiday season to make the event special.

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Historical Society hosts cemetery cleanup Feb. 8

February 6, 2014

The Newcastle Historical Society will host a Feb. 8 work party to clean and spruce up the city’s iconic cemetery.

Volunteers are invited to help cut, collect and haul away brush. The city will provide tools, but attendees should bring gloves and wear sturdy shoes.

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Ernest Swanson

February 6, 2014

Ernest Milton “Milt” Swanson, was born March 29, 1918, in Newcastle, to Ernest and Esilda Swanson; he passed away peacefully on Monday, Jan. 20, 2014, due to complications from a fall.

Milt, a lifelong resident of Newcastle, lived his entire life at the family home — a former mine company house just off Lakemont Boulevard. Frequent travelers on that road will remember the coal car in his front yard and the railroad semaphore he installed at the end of his driveway, rigged to light up and signal when anyone came down the drive.

Milt Swanson 1944

Milt Swanson
1944

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Newcastle News publisher retires

February 6, 2014

Publisher Debbie Berto retired from her role at the end of January after nearly 41 years with Issaquah Press Inc.

She began at The Issaquah Press as an advertising account rep in 1973, took over management of the newspaper in 1976, when she was 24 years old, and was named publisher in 1981.

Debbie Berto 1973

Debbie Berto
1973

Debbie Berto 2012

Debbie Berto
2012

Berto introduced Sammamish Review as a monthly newspaper in 1992, Newcastle News in 1999 and SnoValley Star in 2008. Last year, she was named to the Issaquah Hall of Fame for her contributions through the newspapers and her community leadership. Read more

Renton college earns national honor

February 6, 2014

The Aspen Institute has recognized Renton Technical College as one of the nation’s top 150 community colleges.

The honor comes with a chance to compete for the 2015 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence and $1 million in prize funds.

The prize, awarded every two years, is the nation’s signature recognition of high achievement and performance among community colleges.

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Letter

February 6, 2014

To continue excellent education, please vote yes for school levies

On behalf of the Issaquah School Board, I want to extend our great appreciation for the community’s ongoing support for our schools. Our goal is to prepare students for a global, dynamic world.

In today’s economy, a basic education isn’t sufficient for the every-increasing complexity our students will find in the workforce. They will need to be able to communicate and exhibit higher-level thinking, utilizing ever-advancing technologies. The board understands the success of our students requires a commitment from the entire community. So, when you find your ballot in the mail, we ask that you vote “yes” to renew the three levies approved by the board.

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Vote yes for all three school levies

February 6, 2014

There is no doubt that voters should approve the three Issaquah School District levy requests on the Feb. 11 ballot.

There are questions every voter should ask:

1) Is it essential?

The most important funding request is for the four-year M&O levy, paying 21 percent of classroom costs, including 485 teacher salaries. It replaces the current M&O levy. A transportation levy would only be collected for one year, to buy 71 more fuel-efficient school buses with higher safety standards. And the four-year capital levy seeks technology funds and building repairs. Computer replacement and upgrades are a way of life in today’s world, and maintenance of our school buildings is not an option.

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Activities Commission sets ambitious 2014 work plan

February 6, 2014

As it wraps up its first year as the rebranded Community Activities Commission, the all-volunteer council advisory board is getting ready for a busy 2014.

The former Parks Commission received approval at the Dec. 17 City Council meeting for an action-packed 2014 work plan that includes organization of several city events and important policy updates.

The board went through some growing pains in the past year as it transitioned to an event-centric role and welcomed five new faces.

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Dog gone

February 6, 2014

When we moved to Olympus almost 24 years ago, our Good Neighbors to the South (the GNS) were already ensconced in their brand new home. Randomly Loud Son was a toddler, and Lovely Daughter was yet to be born. And sometime in the early 2000s, there was another addition: a puppy, a black Corgi mixed with Some Other Brand. His name was Lenny.

Lenny was the only dog in a string of three homes that included the GNS, ourselves and the GNN (Good Neighbors to the North.) He was generally a benign addition. I can’t remember ever chasing him from the yard, or replacing an upended plant or shoveling up his leavings.

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