Editorial — Linda Newing for Newcastle City Council

September 30, 2015

NEW — 3:37 p.m. Sept. 30, 2015

It takes courage and stamina for someone to throw his or her hat in the ring and run for public office. You have to be prepared for any question, any issue. You also have to become an expert on many topics.

That’s why we commend Linda Newing and Victoria Sandoval for coming forward to run for Newcastle City Council Position 1 in the Nov. 3 election.

Both women came to our offices for an interview last week so we could ask them questions about various issues, including the possible Energize Eastside route coming through Newcastle, how to involve residents in the city’s growth and what they would do to raise revenue for the city.

Both gave great answers, but we have to choose Newing as our preferred candidate for the position. Read more

Editorial — Consider volunteering in the classroom

September 2, 2015

NEW — 4:50 p.m. Sept. 2, 2015

Newcastle parents whisked their children off to school this week, symbolically bringing an end to the long summer nights.

After dropping the kids off at school, you might feel the urge to kick back, relax and enjoy some “me” time. You deserve it after a long summer keeping the young ones entertained.

But wait! The schools need you. The volunteer jobs are endless. The playgrounds need monitors, the libraries can use assistance, the front offices might need your organizational skills, teachers almost never have enough helpers and the nurse’s offices are 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. Read more

Editorial — Council does the right thing on speed hump decision

August 6, 2015

NEW — 2:30 p.m. Aug. 6, 2015

Haochen Xu was just 4 years old.

He loved to read, had no trouble making friends and possessed a penchant for learning.

Haochen died June 27 at Harborview Medical Center, the day after a driver struck him as he and his mother tried to cross Newport Way Northwest in Issaquah.

Investigators say the driver was not speeding, but that is little consolation for a community that says the posted 40 mph speed limit along the road is way too high.

Changes are likely coming to the road, with Issaquah Mayor Fred Butler recommending a speed limit decrease. But this is after the worst case scenario became reality. Read more

Editorial — Don’t leave kids, dogs to die in hot cars

July 2, 2015

It must be horrible to be trapped in a very hot, small space, yearning for water, gasping for air and begging to be released.

Despite the fact that scenario will horrify most readers, every single summer, police get calls about children and dogs trapped in hot cars.

Temperatures have been in the 80s in recent days and it’s not midsummer yet.

On average, 37 children across the country have died each year since 1998 from heat-related deaths after being trapped inside motor vehicles, according to www.noheatstroke.org. Read more

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

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

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

Editorial — Chamber director has big shoes to fill

March 5, 2015

We’re saddened to hear that Newcastle Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Imelda Dulcich will step down from her post.

Dulcich has single-handedly raised the profile of the local chamber, providing valuable social media promotion for its businesses and serving as a friendly community connector.

Her position was only part-time, but it was clear that Dulcich dedicated more effort and energy than her duties required.

Dulcich’s ability to recruit top-notch speakers made the chamber luncheons must-attend events. Because of her, the Newcastle business community got to hear from the likes of U.S. Rep. Adam Smith, King County Sheriff John Urquhart and King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg. Read more

Editorial — It’s your city; get involved in decisions

March 5, 2015

Sue Stronk. Larry Johnson. Jessaca Jacobson. Sonny Putter.

With the exception of the last name, you’ve likely never heard of these people. But make no mistake, the Newcastle City Council knows who they are, at least they should.

They are examples of just a few Newcastle residents who have come to at least one council meeting in the past year to voice their opinions.

They are, essentially, examples of democracy in action, a far too rare scene witnessed in the perpetually empty Newcastle council chambers. Read more

Editorial — Building agreement doesn’t pass the test

February 6, 2015

The Newcastle City Council agreed to spend $250,000 on a building it could get for free.

Let us repeat that — $250,000 of taxpayer funds spent on a maintenance operations building that could be had for nothing, well, mostly nothing.

It doesn’t make much sense, does it?

But that’s what the council narrowly agreed to with the recent 4-3 approval of the purchase-sale agreement to acquire a Coal Creek Utility District-owned building.

Sure, on the surface, it looks like a good deal — “I only have to pay $250,000 for a $750,000 building? What a steal!” — but more and more, this agreement is starting to feel like an iceberg. It’s what’s underneath the water that you should be worried about. Read more

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