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

Notes from Newcastle: The Prices of city trail maintenance

July 2, 2014

As the pleasant summer months approach, there is no better time to explore the city’s vast trail network under blue skies and warm temperatures.

You can find longtime Newcastle residents Jim and Peggy Price on the trails in rain or shine, though.

The husband-and-wife team is very active when it comes to preserving and expanding Newcastle’s walking trails. They were among the founders of the Newcastle Trails organization and continue to remain deeply involved in the nonprofit.

Peggy had a direct hand in designing, routing and building the Terrace Trail and the eastern portion of the May Creek Trail. She now spends a large portion of her weeks working on the CrossTown Trail, which will span from Coal Creek Parkway to Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park. Read more

Editorial – Be cautious as weather warms up

July 2, 2014

History tells us the weather this time of the year is a trick. Soon enough, the June gloom will give way to sunny skies and warm temperatures.

But if this lovely weather holds (and even if it doesn’t) many Western Washingtonians will head outside, braving the cold waters and muddy hiking trails.

Please, don’t let the sun lull you into contentment. As we learned recently from incidents on Mount Rainier, even experienced outdoor people, and even those with professional guides, can get into trouble.

Read more

Letters

July 2, 2014

Mark Rigos and his positive impact will truly be missed

Thanks for your first-rate coverage of the departure of Mark Rigos, Newcastle’s Public Works director. Mark is an extraordinary individual who made a huge positive impact on the city and its residents, especially in expanding and improving Newcastle’s trail system, as members of Newcastle Trails can attest.

Projects that had been deferred for years were completed during Mark’s three-year tenure, often on his initiative (without prodding from Newcastle Trails). These included easements for the Horse Trail, drainage on the Highlands Trail, and surveys that helped prevent encroachment on our parks and trails.

Read more

City has big shoes to fill in public works

June 5, 2014

The community will lose an important asset this month, when Public Works Director Mark Rigos leaves for the same position at North Bend.

North Bend’s population is smaller than Newcastle’s, by about 4,000 residents, but it offers greater responsibilities, including managing the city’s water and sewer district.

Rigos was only with Newcastle for three years, but it has certainly felt like much longer than that, given the way he has fully ingratiated himself within the community.

In his time with Newcastle, Rigos redefined what it meant to be a public works director, when he equally prioritized public safety and customer service. Read more

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