Editorial — Celebrate safely this graduation season

June 4, 2015

You did it, grads!

You endured the tests, the homework, the projects, the classes, the early start times and the occasional sleepless night to get to this point — right here, right now, the finish line is in sight.

Liberty and Hazen high school seniors will receive their diplomas at separate ceremonies June 12. Hazen’s is at the Kent ShoWare Center, while Liberty’s is at Safeco Field.

Now is the time to reflect. When you stare in the mirror, dressed in full graduation regalia, what will you remember most? Read more

To the Editor — June 2015

June 4, 2015

We need more than ‘reasonable’ with PSE’s Energize Eastside

The independent technical consultant hired by the city of Bellevue to assess the need for PSE’s “Energize Eastside” project, U.S.E., was expected to do its own independent future peak load forecast. Instead, it reviewed PSE’s forecast and found it “reasonable.”

If you want a second opinion from a doctor, would you be satisfied if he/she just looked at the medical records from the first doctor and thought her diagnosis was “reasonable”?

What U.S.E. finds “reasonable” is PSE’s new forecast of electricity demand growing at 2.4 percent per year from 2014-2024. By comparison, Seattle City Light is forecasting demand growth of 1.2 percent for Seattle. Why can’t we get independent verification that the Eastside is now growing twice as fast as booming Seattle? That seems totally implausible. Read more

Cartoon — June 2015

June 4, 2015

cjones20150528FIFA

Notes from Newcastle — Drug-free group comes to Newcastle

June 4, 2015

A who’s who of the Newcastle community leadership gathered at City Hall for a very important discussion April 28.

Mayor Steve Buri, Newcastle Police Chief Melinda Irvine and Issaquah School District Superintendent Ron Thiele were among the attendees at a community conversation about teen drug abuse in the area.

The event represented the first step in the Issaquah Drug Free Community Coalition’s attempt to raise awareness of its mission and services in Newcastle. The coalition, acting under the umbrella of the Healthy Youth Initiative, has already held similar events in Issaquah and Sammamish.

The Drug Free Community Coalition’s purpose is to prevent and reduce youth alcohol, marijuana and prescription drug abuse within the Issaquah School District service area, which includes parts of Newcastle. Read more

Editorial — Get ready for elections

April 30, 2015

If you’ve been thinking about taking on an important leadership role within the city of Newcastle, the time has come to take the next step. Candidates must file for election by May 15.

The terms for four Newcastle City Council positions are set to expire at the end of the year — council position No. 1 (Lisa Jensen), council position No. 2 (Carol Simpson), council position No. 3 (Steve Buri) and council position No. 4 (Gordon Bisset).

Simpson and Bisset already announced they would file for re-election, while Jensen said she will not and Buri is still undecided.

Meanwhile, Newcastle Community Activities commissioners Linda Newing and Victoria Sandoval and as well as Planning Commissioner Allen Dauterman announced they will run for a City Council spot. Read more

Letter to the editor

April 30, 2015

Dear Newcastle voters,

Thank you. It has been an honor and a privilege to represent you for two terms on the Newcastle City Council. I will not be seeking re-election in the upcoming election.

I first ran for office because the city budget was out of control, and a majority on the council had lost touch with the people they represented. In the past eight years, we have made the necessary changes to the budget in a way that allows us to live within our means. We also have a city manager and staff that make customer service a priority and recognize everyone at City Hall is there to serve the community.

New perspectives and varied experiences on a council can make government better. I hope an open seat will encourage more people to run for office. My public service will continue as a trustee at Harborview Medical Center and on the UW Medicine/Valley Medical Center board. Read more

Notes from Newcastle — Let’s get Italene on Fallon

April 30, 2015

There are just some people that stay with you.

For me, and I’m sure I’m not alone, one such person is Newcastle resident Italene Gaddis.

Talking with Italene is like eating a spoonful of sunshine, in a good way, and if it was possible. It’s like preparing for an important game, getting the best pep talk of your life and just crushing the competition. It’s like playing with a litter of newborn puppies or relaxing on a nice, long vacation.

Need I say more?

Spend an hour with the 90-year-old Newcastle musician and your faith in humanity can’t help but soar to new heights. Read more

May cartoon

April 30, 2015

cjones20150418SpecialInterest

Editorial — Give an hour a week to help a local child

April 2, 2015

Children of all ages are one of our most valuable resources. They’re the ones who will grow up and inherit this planet. They will also be the ones to try to repair problems that people before them have created or not been able to fix.

So it’s crucial that they have good teachers. And good teaching doesn’t always happen in the classroom. In the Issaquah and Renton school districts, hundreds of people are giving valuable time.

Don’t have time, you say? It takes an hour a week. One hour.

Thanks to volunteer mentors, the future is brighter for more than 300 elementary, middle and high school students who are finding joy, confidence and opportunity through the VOICE Mentor Program, according to the Robin Callahan, executive director of the Issaquah Schools Foundation. Read more

Notes from Newcastle

April 2, 2015

A plea to #hashtag it

Newcastle is suffering from an identity crisis.

No, I’m not talking about anything that the city is or isn’t doing. This crisis, it so happens, is simply out of City Hall’s control.

The problem would best be described as a “social media identity crisis.” Go ahead; search ‘Newcastle’ on Twitter. What do you see?

You’ll likely see a lot of tweets about Newcastle United FC, a soccer team in the English Premier League. Though the majority of Newcastle tweets are about the Magpies, they, incidentally, have nothing to do with our Newcastle. Read more

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