America the beautiful

July 31, 2014

Eastside residents become U.S. citizens at Newcastle Library

By Greg Farrar Immigrants from around the world, who passed citizenship tests and renounced allegiances to the countries of their birth, take the oath of allegiance from officials of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services July 23 during a naturalization ceremony at the Newcastle Library.

By Greg Farrar
Immigrants from around the world, who passed citizenship tests and renounced allegiances to the countries of their birth, take the oath of allegiance from officials of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services July 23 during a naturalization ceremony at the Newcastle Library.

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Energize Eastside concerns shared

July 31, 2014

Energize Eastside was back on the Newcastle City Council agenda for the first time since Puget Sound Energy introduced the project April 1.

But this time, it was a pair of resident groups who had the opportunity to voice their concerns about the plan to bring new, higher capacity electric transmission lines to the Eastside in response to the region’s growing power demands.

The Olympus Homeowners Association and the Coalition of Eastside Neighborhoods for Sensible Energy countered PSE’s proposal and questioned the project’s true requirement at the July 1 and 15 City Council meetings. Read more

Newcastle Elementary School principal to speak at chamber lunch

July 31, 2014

Newcastle Elementary School parents and students can meet the school’s new principal, Richard Mellish, at the Aug. 13 Newcastle Chamber of Commerce luncheon.

Mellish comes to Newcastle from the Mercer Island School District, where he served as principal of West Mercer Elementary School.

He replaces outgoing Principal Marla Newton, who left at the end of the school year to take a job as a principal at a Federal Way School District elementary school.

The luncheon starts at 11 a.m. Aug. 13 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 http://bit.ly/1lb7n0c.

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

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

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

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

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.

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