March 5, 2014
Get a start on fitness at your local library
Not long ago, I found myself walking up a moderate incline of a driveway, realizing my heart was beating a little faster and my breath was a little harder to catch than the situation warranted. My first thought — “Hmm, maybe an iron deficiency?” It didn’t take but another step or two for me to recognize that, nope, I’m simply out of shape.
I’ve always considered myself a fit person. I eat right, do yoga and walk. But, on closer inspection of my days, I see my life has changed. I sit at work, my senior dogs don’t go as fast or as far on our walks and my gym membership has lapsed. Busy days make it tough to squeeze in one more thing, so how am I going to get motivated?
March 5, 2014
Be the 12th man while doing some good
Congratulations, Seahawks and Seahawks fans. The 43-8 Super Bowl win against Denver makes us proud to be Northwest residents. And kudos to the Seahawks organization for the way it has embraced the 12th man concept — saying we fans are part of the team.
Online sports columnist Art Thiel (www.sportspressnw.com) said the number 12 seems to have significance for the Seahawks.
“If you’re into sports numerology, Seattle scored 12 seconds into the first half, and 12 seconds into the second half,” he wrote. “For the long-suffering 12s, the symbolism goes beyond coincidence.”
February 6, 2014
Newcastle Jewelers employee Sylvia Mauerman has one heck of a job.
“How much fun is it to lift diamonds all day?” she asked, when I visited the store for a story last month.
That sounds pretty fun, if you ask me, but not as much fun as getting to do it under the tutelage of Wayne and Joan Underwood, the store’s owners.
I had never been to the store before I visited to write a story about its 20th anniversary, but for the first time since Sweet Decadence left the city, I had the soothing feeling that I was sitting in a cozy living room.
Newcastle Jewelers doesn’t have chairs and seats set up for its patrons, and it’s not meant to be a place where people gather and lounge, but after meeting the welcoming, kind staff, all I want to do is hang out there.
The shelves and display cases filled with beautiful jewelry may or may not have had a hand in my longing sense to linger at the store, too.
At any rate, Wayne, Joan and Sylvia made me feel at home. Whether it was the kind welcome I received from Sylvia as I walked in the door, Wayne’s quiet, self-deprecating humor or Joan’s pride in the community, they were just so comforting.
It seems that their breed is a dying kind, you know, the type of business owners that treat their customers like family.
They’re the kind of owners who will shake their heads at you when you try to pay after a quick repair of your watch, refusing to let you pay for something that took two minutes but was a world of help.
They’re the kind of jewelers who when you say you’re looking for a specific token to add to your charm bracelet, they’ll say, “No, problem,” and will hand craft it in their store. If you don’t see it on their shelves, they’ll find it, or make it for you.
They’re the kind of people who saw a city come into existence 20 years ago, and did everything in their power to support it, even changing their business’ name to do so.
Newcastle is lucky to have the Newcastle Jewelers team in its community, but if you ask their owners, they’ll quickly say, “No, we’re lucky to be in Newcastle.”
February 6, 2014
To continue excellent education, please vote yes for school levies
On behalf of the Issaquah School Board, I want to extend our great appreciation for the community’s ongoing support for our schools. Our goal is to prepare students for a global, dynamic world.
In today’s economy, a basic education isn’t sufficient for the every-increasing complexity our students will find in the workforce. They will need to be able to communicate and exhibit higher-level thinking, utilizing ever-advancing technologies. The board understands the success of our students requires a commitment from the entire community. So, when you find your ballot in the mail, we ask that you vote “yes” to renew the three levies approved by the board.
February 6, 2014
There is no doubt that voters should approve the three Issaquah School District levy requests on the Feb. 11 ballot.
There are questions every voter should ask:
1) Is it essential?
The most important funding request is for the four-year M&O levy, paying 21 percent of classroom costs, including 485 teacher salaries. It replaces the current M&O levy. A transportation levy would only be collected for one year, to buy 71 more fuel-efficient school buses with higher safety standards. And the four-year capital levy seeks technology funds and building repairs. Computer replacement and upgrades are a way of life in today’s world, and maintenance of our school buildings is not an option.
January 2, 2014
As the city heads into the coming year, Newcastle continues to grow and flourish. Here are our goals for 2014 as the city embarks on its 20th year of incorporation.
Middle school construction — As early as this summer, the Renton Academy on 116th Avenue Southeast will become a construction zone when the Renton School District begins to build its fourth middle school, set to open in 2016. Community open houses about the project have been sparsely attended, but sooner than later, shovels will be in the ground and the chance to comment on the plans will have passed. Get involved in the details of Newcastle’s newest educational institution in the New Year.
January 2, 2014
Vote yes for the school district levies
As we enter a new year, the voters within the Issaquah School District have a unique investment opportunity.
On Feb. 11, the entire community will have the opportunity to vote yes on a three-part Issaquah district school-funding ballot, comprised of the following items:
- Four-year Maintenance and Operations Levy in the following amounts: $44.5 million in 2015, $48 million in 2016, $51.5 million in 2017, and $54 million in 2018.
- One-year Transportation Levy in the amount of $1.7 million in 2015
December 5, 2013
I woke up Nov. 9, startled by a frightening nightmare.
It involved Sandra Wixon and the Sweet Decadence team. I dreamed that the “living room” of Newcastle was set to close.
“Oh, good,” I thought to myself as I awoke, “it was all a dream.”
Then, a moment later, I realized it wasn’t a dream; and the nightmare was no coincidence, given that I had heard just a day earlier the iconic business was relocating to The Landing in Renton.
As reality began to set in, a knot formed in my stomach. Read more
December 4, 2013
Shop Small, Shop Local in Newcastle
A sticker at the entrance of Sweet Decadence Chocolates reads, “I shop Newcastle. It’s home.”
Even though the popular chocolate shop is set to relocate to Renton shortly, the phrase never rang truer as the nation celebrated Small Business Saturday Nov. 30.
The annual promotion, initiated by American Express in 2010, encourages holiday shoppers to patronize the storefronts right in their own hometown.
December 4, 2013
Sorry, CCUD, for the incorrect statement at meeting
This is an apology to Robert Russell, general manager of the Coal Creek Utility District.
The Coal Creek Utility District cares about the quality service they provide to Newcastle and the surrounding area. At the recent Town Hall meeting, I misspoke when I said it didn’t care about how it bills for streetlights. I apologize.
The district does care. It has been working diligently this past year, checking all 90 streetlighting districts to make sure that every customer is billed correctly. It found 51 customers had been left off the lists, out of the more than 1,700 customers who pay for streetlights.