Notes from Newcastle: Video killed the radio star

November 7, 2014

Since Newcastle News comes out only once a month, I split my duties between this paper and The Issaquah Press, a weekly.

I work on community features and Liberty High School sports for The Press, but I usually stay away from the more newsy Issaquah items, saving those for the main Issaquah Press reporter.

Well, we bid a sad farewell last month to Peter Clark, our Issaquah city reporter who moved on to greener pastures. In his absence, and while we searched for his replacement, I picked up the slack a bit.

That meant, for much of October, I shuttled back and forth between Issaquah and Newcastle city council meetings. It’s the first time I’ve ever really attended a council meeting other than Newcastle’s, so it was interesting to compare and contrast the two. Read more

Locals urge better solutions than Energize Eastside

November 7, 2014

Eastside residents have concerns about PSE’s Energize Eastside project, which will run 18 miles of high-voltage power lines through five Eastside cities.

The 130-foot towers will be up to three times taller than the current transmission poles, creating panoramic visual blight throughout our beautiful region.

PSE is running an expensive public relations campaign as they pursue an aggressive timeline for EE. A final route is to be selected in December, less than a month away.

Many Eastside residents are concerned that PSE is overstating the need and urgency for EE and has eliminated every other energy solution from public consideration. In response, we created the Coalition of Eastside Neighborhoods for Sensible Energy (CENSE.org) to educate elected officials and the public. Read more

Get to know your city

October 3, 2014

The city celebrated its 20th year of incorporation in September, but locals know, at least they should, that Newcastle’s story goes back much farther than that.

Newcastle’s coal-mining history dates back to the mid 1800s, when the city was second only to Seattle in population.

The Newcastle mining site operated for about 100 years, until the mid-1900s. Workers extracted nearly 11 million tons of coal during that period.

Vestiges of that history remain scattered across the city in the form of landmarks such as the Baima House, a century-old company house that used to house miners and their families, and the Newcastle Cemetery, the final resting place for a number of Newcastle pioneers. Read more

Notes from Newcastle: Newcastle Trails at 15

October 3, 2014

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Garry Kampen

This year is the 20th anniversary of Newcastle, a small city that ranks high in livability, and the 15th anniversary of Newcastle Trails, a nonprofit citizens group that has worked for parks, trails and open space, in close cooperation with the city, since 1999.

I’m writing to celebrate Newcastle’s amazing and still-growing trail system, and to encourage you to explore it and enjoy it. Check NT’s website, www.newcastletrails.org; download our latest map and trail guide; join NT by emailing info@newcastletrails.org (for trail news, no dues); attend our Oct. 6 board meeting (7 p.m. at Regency Newcastle); and consider volunteering for the board, or lending a hand with trail work, computer work (GIS, web, writing), lobbying, fundraising — whatever you’d like to do. Read more

Notes from Newcastle: Celebrate 20 years of community

August 29, 2014

In honor of Newcastle’s 20th anniversary, we asked Councilman John Dulcich, a member of the city’s original council, to write this month’s Notes from Newcastle column.

It has been an honor and a privilege to be involved as a leader in Newcastle over the past 20 years.

Dulcich

John D. Dulcich

Although our city officially incorporated in 1994, Newcastle was actually founded in 1869 as a coal-mining town. The coal carried from Newcastle helped spur early development in the region and was instrumental in making the Port of Seattle the dominant West Coast seaport that it is today. Read more

Letters

August 29, 2014

Why did our city commissioners vote to support illegal drug dealers?

The recent announcement that our city commissioners voted to prohibit consideration of the possible establishment of state-monitored and state-taxed retail outlets for marijuana constitutes a vote to continue the monopoly of the illegal dug trade.

Despite the democratic vote of the public to legalize limited recreational use and sale of marijuana under controlled conditions designed to protect the public and our children, our commissioners voted to act against the public’s will by placing a moratorium on considering retail outlets in Newcastle.

This appears to be a misguided intention to keep marijuana out of Newcastle. Read more

Editorial: School begins with need for volunteers

August 29, 2014

On Tuesday, parents across the Issaquah and Renton school districts will walk their children to the school bus or to school for the start of a new school year.

Finally, a bit of free time for a second cup of coffee.

But wait, your school needs you. The volunteer jobs at school are endless. The playground needs monitors, the library can use assistance, the front office might need your organizational skills, teachers almost never have enough helpers and the nurse’s office is often in need of a mother’s touch to watch over a sick child.

But the best volunteer jobs may be working directly with students. Parents, grandparents and other citizens are always welcome to just listen to children read. For a bigger role, ask about becoming a mentor, helping guide a child in his or her social development and studies — or sometimes just to be there to listen. Read more

Editorial

July 31, 2014

Be responsible with your marijuana

Marijuana.

No matter how you feel about it, it’s now legal to purchase and smoke it in the state of Washington. (Leave it to officials to sort out the federal vs. state issue, though at this point, no one has announced plans to crack down on people who take a toke.)

And although there is not a local place to make a purchase, and there won’t be one in Newcastle anytime soon as a result of the City Council’s recent moratorium, 24 retailers in the Puget Sound area were granted licenses in early July by the state Liquor Control Board.

A majority of voters wanted marijuana, and now we all have it. In order to turn that initiative and vote into a real win, people must be responsible with their pot. Read more

Notes from Newcastle: Neighborhood pride and activism

July 31, 2014

I often like to end my interviews with a question about a subject’s hometown.

How long have you lived in Newcastle? Why did you choose to move to Newcastle? What do you like about living in Newcastle?

The answers aren’t necessarily important for the story, but I always enjoy hearing residents talk about the place they live.

Some mention the city’s trails, others the small-neighborhood feel, but all extol the convenience of Newcastle’s location and display a certain pride in the city they call home. Read more

Notes from Newcastle: Summer at the library

July 11, 2014

NEW — 11:30 a.m. July 11, 2014

KelcyTiger

Kelcy Tiger

My favorite childhood memories from summer are ones where I got to experience something out of the ordinary. This usually meant my parents packing my sister and me into our car, enduring an hour drive in traffic (are we there yet?), trying to find parking (are we there yet!) and finally making our way to the museum, exhibit or center we planned on visiting. This summer you can save yourself a trip downtown and still visit a museum, center or aquarium, just by coming to the Newcastle Library! Read more

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