Input sought for naming new middle school

November 10, 2015

It’s time to name the middle school.

Come fall 2016, a new Renton School District middle school will sit within Newcastle city limits. Work is already well underway on the school, located next to Hazelwood Elementary.

The two-story school designed by NAC Architecture was made possible thanks to voter support of an April 2012 bond measure. The $97 million bond measure will fund the school, improvements to the Lindbergh High School pool and other construction costs.

The district’s fourth middle school comes at an important time, given that Renton’s middle schools are among the largest in the state. Read more

Newcastle railroads — When rail was king

November 10, 2015

Narrow gauge rail service was completed between Renton and the Newcastle coal mines in 1878. This 6.5-mile extension allowed for much greater production and therefore growth of the company town. Regular passenger service began in November 1878, enabling Newcastle to become more than just a mining town. It was a destination for hunting and hiking and allowed for the visit of President Rutherford B. Hayes in 1880.

Train service was not without its problems. In January 1880, 4.5-feet of snow fell in Seattle disrupting service, and in July of that year, the train was three hours late. It seems the train had run off the track because it hit a hog. The train did not suffer damage, but the hog was cut in two. In 1883, Renton had 300 residents while Newcastle had 750. Read more

Welcome to New Newcastle

November 10, 2015

When my grandnephew was a baby and did his best sleeping in a moving car, Newcastle Niece and I took a local driving trip to view all the new home developments. We called it “The Construction Tour.” Two years later, Jack can sleep without the rocking of a vehicle, but growth is still a huge topic of conversation. No less than The New York Times recently wondered if Seattle could keep its soul while it morphed into a Pacific Rim power, and we’re sitting right at the edge of it. Hardly a day passes that I don’t drive around a Newcastle corner and say out loud, “What the hell? When did that happen?” Previously, crane-spotting was relegated to the occasional Great Blue Heron at Lake Boren, but now there’s a crane where cows grazed and one where the Brick Plant bricked, while the new middle school currently looks like a stage backdrop for a Taylor Swift concert.

DetmerColumn 20151000Given the confluence of current events, I understand that constant change and suburban density are going to be a part of our lives whether we like it or not. It’s inevitable. But rather than condemning it, consider the flip side.

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Diamond Awards ceremony is Nov. 19

November 10, 2015

The Newcastle Chamber of Commerce will honor the community’s top contributors at the 2015 Diamond Awards ceremony Nov. 19.

Tickets are $35 for members and $40 for nonmembers. They are available online at The event goes from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at The Golf Club at Newcastle, 15500 Six Penny Lane.

The event opens at 6:30 p.m. Get your picture taken at the sponsor wall, munch on appetizers and take advantage of a no-host bar before the official ceremony starts at 7:30 p.m.

Local libraries host book sales

November 10, 2015

The Newcastle and Newport Way libraries will both host book sales in November.

Newcastle kicks it off Nov. 14 with a mini holiday book sale. The Friends of the Newcastle Library group will take over the library lobby, where it will sell hundreds of books for all ages in a wide-ranging selection of genres, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Newport Way Library book sale is Nov. 20-21. Most books cost just $1. The sale goes from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.

The Newcastle Library is at 12901 Newcastle Way and the Newport Way Library is at 14250 S.E. Newport Way, Bellevue.

Friends groups sponsor additional library programs through its book sales. They gladly accept donations of gently used books throughout the year. Learn more at

Calendar — November 2015

November 10, 2015


All government buildings and libraries will be closed Nov. 11 in observance of Veteran’s Day.

Newcastle Chamber of Commerce 10th annual Diamond Awards, 6:30 p.m. Nov. 19, $35/members, $40/nonmembers, The Golf Club at Newcastle, 15500 Six Penny Lane, register at

Newcastle Trails board meeting, free and open to the public, 7-9 p.m. Nov. 25, Regency Newcastle, 7454 Newcastle Golf Club Road,

Public meetings Read more

Study shows marijuana-positive drivers increased in 2014

November 10, 2015

Newly released data from the Washington Traffic Safety Commission shows that marijuana is increasing as a factor in deadly crashes.

The number of drivers involved in deadly crashes who tested positive for marijuana increased 48 percent from 2013 to 2014.

From 2010-2014, nearly 60 percent of drivers involved in fatal collisions were tested for drugs. Among those tested drivers, about 20 percent (349 drivers) were positive for marijuana. Read more

Playoff roundup: Cross country teams shine at district meet

November 10, 2015

The Liberty girls cross country team won its sixth straight district title, enduring soggy, windy conditions at the Westside Classic Oct. 31.

Liberty took the Class 2A West Central District 3 title in dominant fashion with 30 points. The Patriots’ seven runners all finished in the top 11, with junior Brigette Takeuchi leading the pack in fourth place with a time of 20 minutes, 34.5 seconds.

Senior Carlyn Schmidgall (fifth, 20:38.5), senior Tyra Christopherson (sixth, 21:01), sophomore Sophia Lindstrom (seventh, 21:03.1), junior Kelsey Takeuchi (eighth, 21:05.2), junior Sophia Morgan (10th, 21:24.2) and junior Samantha Kelderman (11th, 21:26) rounded out the pack. Read more

Liberty golf team wins KingCo title

November 10, 2015

After a 2012 campaign that yielded zero wins, Alex Wilsey, then a Liberty High School freshman, didn’t see much hope in the Patriots’ boys golf team’s future.

“We never really succeeded at all,” said Wilsey, now a senior. “We didn’t go into matches believing that we would win. We were simply outmatched and outperformed every time.”

Contributed Jon Kinsley (fourth from left), Liberty High School boys golf coach holds the team’s KingCo championship trophy while surrounded by his golfers.

Jon Kinsley (fourth from left), Liberty High School boys golf coach holds the team’s KingCo championship trophy while surrounded by his golfers.

Liberty’s fortunes started changing his sophomore year as the Patriots picked up a handful of wins. Nothing too dramatic, he said, but it gave the team confidence they could win for the first time. Read more

Police blotter

November 10, 2015

NEW — 3:32 p.m. Nov. 10, 2015

Lost and found

Someone returned a package that was believed to be stolen from a porch in the 8500 block of 135th Avenue Southeast Oct. 1. The package was opened and the only thing missing was a CD of photos.

Mustard Seed money

A woman slammed her hand on the trunk of a car in the Safeway parking lot, 6911 Coal Creek Parkway S.E., and asked the driver to give her $20 to get to Mustard Seed Bar & Grill Oct. 2. After several exchanges about the money, the woman told the driver something to the effect of “at least I didn’t shoot you.” The driver said she did not feel threatened by the comment, but reported the incident to police. Read more

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