Liberty PTSA hosts recycling drive

June 5, 2014

Newcastle residents can donate unwanted items at the Liberty High School PTSA electronics recycling drive from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 7 at Renton Technical College, 3000 N.E. Fourth St., Renton.

Accepted items include working and broken electronics, appliances, bicycles, motorcycles, cars, trucks, batteries, fitness equipment, medical equipment, lawnmowers and barbecues. Computers, laptops, printers, scanners and other computer parts are also accepted.

A suggested donation of at least $10 is encouraged. The money raised will go toward senior events for the Liberty class of 2016.

Newcastle at 20

June 5, 2014


Trails club to celebrate National Trails Day June 7

June 5, 2014

Newcastle Trails will celebrate National Trails Day on June 7, with a special walking tour of the May Creek Trail from 10 a.m. to noon.

Prior to the walk, sponsored by Newcastle Trails and Weed Warriors, a speaker will talk about native edible plants along the trail. Participants should wear sturdy shoes and dress for the weather. Meet at the Lake Boren Park map kiosk near the restrooms, 13058 S.E. 84th Way.

Jim Price joined Garry Kampen, Giles Velte and other trail enthusiasts in 2002 to form Newcastle Trails, and his wife Peggy Price joined soon after. Since, Newcastle has become a “trail city” with a network of trails that provides access throughout the city and connects to trails in Bellevue, Renton and Issaquah.

Issaquah Press Inc. General Manager Joe Heslet to speak at chamber

June 5, 2014

Joe Heslet, general manager of Issaquah Press Inc., will speak at the Newcastle Chamber of Commerce’s June 11 luncheon.

Heslet oversees operations of The Issaquah Press, Sammamish Review, SnoValley Star and Newcastle News. He will talk about how to create advertising retention with top-of-mind awareness.

Before joining Issaquah Press Inc. in October 2013, some of his more noteworthy career experiences include his tenure as director of sales and advertising at the Puget Sound Business Journal, general sales manager for Fisher Communications’ KOMO and KVI stations, and founding and leading his own research firm.

The luncheon starts at 11 a.m. June 11 at Tapatio Mexican Grill, 6920 Coal Creek Parkway S.E. The cost is $20 for chamber members and $25 for nonmembers. RSVP for the luncheon at

Council to consider marijuana freeze

June 5, 2014

The Newcastle City Council directed city staff to prepare an ordinance placing a moratorium on marijuana-related business in the city at its May 6 meeting.

It mirrors the actions of neighboring cities Issaquah and Renton, both of which have moratoriums on marijuana business practices. Councilman Gordon Bisset made the motion, which passed 4-3.

The direction came after a failed attempt to pursue a ban on marijuana businesses in the city, but that motion, made by Deputy Mayor John Drescher, was shot down 5-2.

City staff considers the potential for any marijuana-related business activity in Newcastle very low due to state Liquor Control Board rules on where marijuana facilities can set up shop. Also, the state’s marijuana retail license lottery came and went without any impacts on Newcastle.

The City Council was set to review the ordinance May 20, but decided to table it for a to-be-determined date. The council last considered a moratorium at its Dec. 17 meeting, but that motion failed.

City has big shoes to fill in public works

June 5, 2014

The community will lose an important asset this month, when Public Works Director Mark Rigos leaves for the same position at North Bend.

North Bend’s population is smaller than Newcastle’s, by about 4,000 residents, but it offers greater responsibilities, including managing the city’s water and sewer district.

Rigos was only with Newcastle for three years, but it has certainly felt like much longer than that, given the way he has fully ingratiated himself within the community.

In his time with Newcastle, Rigos redefined what it meant to be a public works director, when he equally prioritized public safety and customer service. Read more

Get involved in PSE ‘Energize Eastside’ decision

June 5, 2014

Guest column

After having lived in Newcastle for the past 10 years next to the Puget Sound Energy power lines and the Olympic gas pipelines, my wife and I first gave little thought to PSE’s proposed “Energize Eastside” project that contemplates Olympus as part of one of two pre-selected routes an upgrade in PSE’s equipment might take. After all, these “H” poles date back to the 1960s and need to be replaced or removed at some point, we figured.

But then we learned things. The proposed new poles would be twice the height of the current ones, as high as 12-story buildings, and the increase in voltage from 115,000 volts to 230,000 volts would quadruple the power flowing through the lines and add to dangerous EMFs (electromagnetic fields). In addition, the new poles would require much bigger cement foundations that would require heavy equipment and massive vibrations to settle them into the soil, all within narrow 100-foot easements and over and near gas pipelines that are 50-plus years old. Read more

Letters — June 6

June 5, 2014

PSE power lines will lower property values

Puget Sound Energy plans to more than double the power lines in height and in voltage will not only increase the potential ills effects on our health in Olympus, but will destroy the natural beauty of our area.

Our skyline will be blocked by these ugly structures, and the property values will impact not only the homes by the power lines, but for the entire area. Keep in mind that property values are not isolated, but reflect the demand for housing and the prices that future homeowners will be willing to pay. Read more

Passion for the past

June 5, 2014

Liberty’s History Day competitors make it to nationals

Contributed Liberty High School students (from left) Sally Rim, Lauryn Hepp and Carlyn Schmidgall accept an award for their project about the Vietnam draft at the regional History Day competition.

Liberty High School students (from left) Sally Rim, Lauryn Hepp and Carlyn Schmidgall accept an award for their project about the Vietnam draft at the regional History Day competition.

Liberty High School student Lorrin Johnson is almost at a loss for words when asked to describe her love of history. Read more

Hazelwood student’s poem inspires

June 5, 2014

Hazelwood Elementary School student-teacher Joshua Heintz gave his fifth-graders 30 minutes and a prompt.

“Write a poem about a time when you did not fit in,” he told them.

Upon review, one poem in particular stood out from the rest, Heintz said. Faith Montes’ uplifting poem about image and self-confidence struck a chord with all who have read it.

“I have received such a positive response from the teachers and staff I have shared the poem with,” he said.

Read Faith’s poem in its entirety, below. Read more

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