Newcastle property values increase

July 31, 2014

Newcastle’s residential property values increased in 2014, according to the King County Assessor’s Office.

King County Assessor Lloyd Hara mailed 2014 property valuations to all Newcastle property owners in early July. The values generally increased by 15.4 percent, he said, but individual property values might vary.

Residential property is assessed each year at 100 percent of its true and fair market value, defined by state law as the amount of money a willing and unobligated buyer is willing to pay a willing and unobligated seller. Residential values are determined based on multiple sales of similar properties.

The King County Assessor’s Office annually revalues all properties and conducts a physical inspection on each property once every six years. The last physical inspection of the Newcastle area was in 2009. Read more

Laughing all the way

July 31, 2014

DetmerColumn 20140700

Jack and the ice cream man. Uh, woman. Truck. Small open vehicle.

I recently wrote an article about the overhyped tests that you can take to find out how old you really are. Who needs a test? While watching my 32-month-old grandnephew Jack a few weeks ago, I easily found out how old I really am, and discovered the same about him.

I am 8. Jack is 52.

Jack is a very smart, thoughtful and cautious child who went directly from observant silence to sentences like, “Mom, did you play with dollhouses when you were a little girl?” and who often begins conversations with, “Mom, I have an idea …”

I watch him every Tuesday for a few hours, and on that day several weeks ago, the stars aligned, the Summer Gods smiled and the ice cream truck came to our neighborhood while I had him. Jack was at the kitchen table eating blueberry yogurt when I heard the unmistakable sound of summer treats approaching. I popped up from my chair and cried, “The ice cream man! The ice cream truck!” Jack looked up from his yogurt. “Jack! The ice cream man is coming! The truck is on the way! Can you hear it?”

Jack heard something all right: me, yelling at full volume from three feet away.

Grabbing some money and heading out the door, I asked The Sainted One to keep an eye on our charge. I ran down our steep driveway and looked up the street. The truck was stopped at a cul-de-sac north of us, and our Good Neighbor to the West and her Lovely Daughter were paying for their purchases. I ran back up the hill, grabbed Jack from the porch where he was now waiting, and tugged him towards the street, but before we could get there, the truck took a tight turn and puttered away from us.

Hearing my wail of dismay, Lovely Daughter chased it up the street and around the corner but had no luck finding it. At the same time, The Sainted One was backing down the driveway to go to the store. Or so he thought. His new mission was to follow the sound of the truck and bring it back.

Jack and I hurried up to the main street so that we wouldn’t be bypassed, with me jabbering the whole way about summer and ice cream men and trucks. Within minutes, the truck slowly approached us with my husband in the car behind it, pushing it along like a sheepdog herding Merino sheep. Jack solemnly held my hand as the parade approached. I could almost hear his thoughts:

“I’m pretty sure that’s not a truck. I can’t define precisely what it is, but it is not a truck.”

“That is not a man. I distinctly remember hearing ‘ice cream man,’ but that is a woman.”

“That is not ice cream as I know it. Where is the ice cream? I see only frozen treats.”

Because Jack remained mute, I followed the suggestion of the ice cream woman and bought him a cartoon character Popsicle featuring bulging blue jawbreaker eyes that scared the hell out of him. He wouldn’t touch it. The next Tuesday, I chopped it up, put it in a bowl and gave it to him with a spoon. He liked it just fine.

 

You can reach Pat Detmer — who also used to get very excited when Santa came by in the fire truck — at patdetmer@aol.com.

 

Council passes marijuana moratorium

July 31, 2014

Newcastle residents won’t find a marijuana retail establishment in the city anytime soon.

The Newcastle City Council approved a six-month moratorium on marijuana-related business activity within Newcastle, at its July 1 meeting.

“A moratorium is simply a procedural mechanism this council can adopt to literally hold the status quo as is, meaning, it gives you six months to review something,” city attorney Dawn Reitan told council members. “Nothing comes in while that happens.”

Councilman Gordon Bisset made the motion instituting the moratorium. It passed 4-3, with council members Lisa Jensen, Carol Simpson and Rich Crispo dissenting. Read more

County deputy found asleep in patrol car is fired

July 31, 2014

King County Sheriff John Urquhart has fired a deputy who was arrested in Newcastle on New Year’s Eve after being found asleep in his patrol car and showing signs of impairment.

The deputy was ultimately found to have prescription drugs in his system, according to a previous statement from the Bellevue Police Department, which was asked to handle the criminal investigation, while the King County Sheriff’s Office handled the administrative investigation.

Deputy Whitney Richtmyer, 47, was fired for violations involving criminal conduct and dishonest statements related to his actions on New Year’s Eve, and a subsequent investigation that found various paperwork in his car hadn’t been turned in over a four-year period, Urquhart said July 17. Read more

Police blotter

July 31, 2014

Neighborly dispute

A resident in the 8700 block of 116th Avenue Southeast called police July 3, after his neighbor refused to pay a $450 window repair bill. The reporting resident said a rock from his neighbor’s lawnmower caused the damage between May 21 and 22.

Cycling high jinks

A resident reported seeing what appeared to be a thin male on a bicycle traveling around the neighborhood and checking door handles on cars parked on Southeast 82nd Street July 2. Read more

Calendar

July 31, 2014

Events

Concerts in the Park, 7 p.m. Wednesdays, Aug. 6 and 13, Lake Boren Park, 13058 S.E. 84th Way

Newcastle Chamber of Commerce monthly lunch: 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Aug. 13, Tapatio Mexican Grill, 6920 Coal Creek Parkway S.E., guest speaker Newcastle Elementary School Principal Richard Mellish, $20/members, $25/nonmembers, register at newcastle-chamber.org

Chamber Networking Breakfast, guest speaker TBA, 7:15-8:30 a.m. Aug. 27, Regency Newcastle, 7454 Newcastle Golf Club Road, free, register at newcastle-chamber.org Read more

Three vie for King County District Court judgeship

July 31, 2014

A trio of part-time judges is competing to fill a King County District Court open seat.

Judge Linda Jacke has announced her retirement in the Northeast Division, which serves a large swath of the Eastside from Lake Washington in the west to the county line in the east, and from Newcastle and areas south of North Bend in the south to the county line in the north. The district also includes part of Bothell in Snohomish County.

Jacke’s courtroom is in Redmond, though there is no guarantee the new judge would sit there.

All three running for the seat are pro-tem judges — they act as fill-in judges when a regular judge is away. The top two vote getters in the August primary will move on to the General Election ballot in November. Read more

Newcastle at 20

July 31, 2014

By Megan Erb Then-Hazelwood Elementary School Principal Mary Ford stands in front of the old school building during its final days in 2005. Students returned that fall to a new Hazelwood built just next door. The building has been home to the Renton Academy, a kindergarten through 12th-grade special-education school, since 2006. Demolition of the structure begins this summer to make way for a new middle school set to open in fall 2016.

By Megan Erb
Then-Hazelwood Elementary School Principal Mary Ford stands in front of the old school building during its final days in 2005. Students returned that fall to a new Hazelwood built just next door. The building has been home to the Renton Academy, a kindergarten through 12th-grade special-education school, since 2006. Demolition of the structure begins this summer to make way for a new middle school set to open in fall 2016.

Nominations coming in for 2014 Diamond Awards

July 31, 2014

For the second year in a row, the Newcastle Chamber of Commerce’s Diamond Awards will be an elegant evening affair, hosted at The Golf Club at Newcastle.

Nominations are already coming in for the Nov. 20 ceremony that honors Newcastle’s top community members. Get to know some of the nominees below, and be sure to cast your nominations at www.newcastle-chamber.org. Read more

Eastside Select wins state title

July 31, 2014

By Kerry Baker The Eastside Select Sports 14U baseball team, including players with both Hazen and Liberty high school roots, won the USSSA state championship at Cheney Stadium, home of the Tacoma Rainiers, July 9.

By Kerry Baker
The Eastside Select Sports 14U baseball team, including players with both Hazen and Liberty high school roots, won the USSSA state championship at Cheney Stadium, home of the Tacoma Rainiers, July 9.

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