August 6, 2015
NEW — 2:30 p.m. Aug. 6, 2015
Our neighborhoods are Newcastle’s real identity
Almost three decades ago, a small group of local visionaries carved a modern-day vision of Newcastle out of rural King County. Doing so, we placed our bets on the wisdom and ideals of our old-timers. Most of their wisdom and ideals are contained in the original Newport Hills incorporation study. So, what did we learn?
We learned that our current and newer neighborhoods could never be just ZIP codes. Many of our other areas would develop and evolve into beautiful, successful and stable neighborhoods, but they had to be sub-parts of the bigger picture — our city as a whole. There would be very real, future restrictive “location demographics” that could forever affect us, but we could survive, depending on the ongoing concern from our locals.
Additionally, allowing outsiders to redevelop, in our neighborhoods, could change the fundamental dynamics of how and where we live. Our way of life could become somewhat transitory, if those outsiders can readily exploit it. The respect for our future, therefore, must come from inside, because we’re betting that our leaders and staff will honor the wisdom in the founder’s visions. Read more
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
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
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.)