March 5, 2015
Building purchase shouldn’t be an issue
The Newcastle City Council recently voted to purchase a maintenance and storage building from the Coal Creek Utility District. In exchange for receiving a discounted price, the city agreed to a 10-year moratorium on the potential assumption of direct responsibility for water and sewer services.
Several current and former members of the City Council have registered vocal objections. They argue that the agreement is (a) illegal because it encumbers future councils, (b) unwise because it takes a reasonable option off the table and (c) it’s an unnecessary expense.
Limitations on future council action are neither illegal nor unusual. The city occupies office space under a long-term lease. Commitments to purchase and maintain our parks and to upgrade Coal Creek Parkway affected budgets over several years. Any issuance of municipal bonds requires repayment over an extended period. And the city attorney (an actual lawyer) approved the purchase. Read more
December 4, 2014
Educate yourself about Energize Eastside Program
As a resident and a physician, I am very concerned about Puget Sound Energy’s Energize Eastside Program.
What started as a far-sighted request to upgrade an aging infrastructure and plan for future growth has been hijacked into an oversized project that benefits a foreign-owned private corporation (PSE) as it prepares to divest in 2017.
Local needs have been expanded into a crisis, and we Eastside residents are being asked to pay for a vastly oversized project that seems more suited to transferring power between Canada and California than meeting our expected growth.
The Coalition of Eastside Neighbors for Sensible Energy has enlisted the talents of Eastside residents, including electrical engineers and people who have worked in the power industry, and have unearthed documents, data and have subsequently proposed an alternative solution. This can all be viewed at its website, cense.org. Read more
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
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.
June 5, 2014
PSE power lines will lower property values
Puget Sound Energy plans to more than double the power lines in height and in voltage will not only increase the potential ills effects on our health in Olympus, but will destroy the natural beauty of our area.
Our skyline will be blocked by these ugly structures, and the property values will impact not only the homes by the power lines, but for the entire area. Keep in mind that property values are not isolated, but reflect the demand for housing and the prices that future homeowners will be willing to pay. Read more
May 1, 2014
New power line is bad for the community
Puget Sound Energy’s proposal to replace the current 115 kV overhead power line with 230 kV lines on taller poles does not consider the negative impact on our community. Overhead power lines do not belong in residential areas for the following reasons:
- Exposure to electromagnetic fields has been linked to increased rates of certain cancers, such as leukemia in children and cancers of the lymph and diseases of central nervous systems in adults.
- Inhaling charged particles/pollutants around power lines has been linked to an increase in free radicals and many adverse health effects, such as cancer.
- interference with implanted pacemakers and defibrillators.
- power line noise. Read more
April 3, 2014
Shop local and support the businesses that serve your community
As a new small business owner, I’ve come to appreciate the importance of “shopping locally.” As a member of local chambers of commerce, I’ve met numerous business people who feel privileged to serve those in their community.
Why not turn around and support those businesses that are so eager to serve you? There are many reasons to shop locally. A few of them are:
1. It’s the “green” thing to do. (Less driving means less pollution.)
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.
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 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.