To the Editor — August 2015

August 6, 2015

By Contributor

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NEW — 2:30 p.m. Aug. 6, 2015

Our neighborhoods are Newcastle’s real identity

Almost three decades ago, a small group of local visionaries carved a modern-day vision of Newcastle out of rural King County. Doing so, we placed our bets on the wisdom and ideals of our old-timers. Most of their wisdom and ideals are contained in the original Newport Hills incorporation study. So, what did we learn?

We learned that our current and newer neighborhoods could never be just ZIP codes. Many of our other areas would develop and evolve into beautiful, successful and stable neighborhoods, but they had to be sub-parts of the bigger picture — our city as a whole. There would be very real, future restrictive “location demographics” that could forever affect us, but we could survive, depending on the ongoing concern from our locals.

Additionally, allowing outsiders to redevelop, in our neighborhoods, could change the fundamental dynamics of how and where we live. Our way of life could become somewhat transitory, if those outsiders can readily exploit it. The respect for our future, therefore, must come from inside, because we’re betting that our leaders and staff will honor the wisdom in the founder’s visions.

Newcastle neighborhoods are not just places on a city zoning map. They are living entities, created and built over time, by caring people. Most of our neighbors cherish what they have accomplished, and many want to be able to live here a long time, around friends and neighbors.

Newcastle needs the value its neighborhoods contribute to community stability; that’s what they do. We appoint city leaders, specifically to represent us, thus our citizens should reasonably expect them to have concern for existing neighborhood community connections. These connections are very personal. They must never be secondary to redevelopment processes or someone recreating part of our city vision, either for personal gain or exploiting a new dream, of what might be.

Our original vision is a living history of why we are a city. It belongs to all of us. Those seeking new opportunities or just passing through should consider leaving it alone.

Giles Velte

Newcastle

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