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.)

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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.

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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

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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.

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October 31, 2013

Lisa Callan has the best interests of district

When Lisa Callan told me she planned to run for a position on the Issaquah School Board, I was excited both for the Issaquah School District and for Lisa. Lisa has realistic, implementable, and compelling ideas; she is a collaborative team player; and she is dedicated to having a positive influence on this district and the education it provides. Lisa brings skill, thought, intelligence and integrity to every table; her glass is always half full.

Lisa Callan has a knack for putting new ideas into action. As vice president of programs for the Grand Ridge PTSA, Lisa implemented two new programs: Grizzly Guys, a group of fathers and men who encourage male participation in school activities; and the Cultural Diversity Council, a group of multicultural parents who create and implement a weekly cultural curriculum for Grand Ridge students. Lisa also brought the Bellevue Art Museum’s Art of Discovery Project to Grand Ridge. This traveling exhibit showcases art pieces created by Northwest artists and provides a corresponding curriculum for elementary-aged students.

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October 4, 2013

Vote for John Drescher for City Council

I am writing this letter asking for the citizens of Newcastle to support my friend and your Planning Commission chairman, John Drescher, for Position 6 on our City Council.

Serving as a fellow commissioner with John, I have had the pleasure of watching his leadership skills, commitment to our community’s welfare and future, along with getting to know him personally. I would like to share some of what I know about John Drescher and why I believe that makes him the best candidate running for City Council.

John and his wife Sally moved to Newcastle in 2005, to the Wynfield Ridge Neighborhood, where he then served as HOA president (2006-2008). With the arrival of their three children since moving to our city, John has become involved in coaching youth soccer and T-ball. The family, like many of ours, enjoys the wonderful trails, parks and playgrounds within our city, and can often be seen visiting Lake Boren Park as well as the events held there.

To quote something John has stated and I have found best represents the fundamental aspect, purpose and character of the man as a public servant, “I particularly think the ability to respectfully work for what you think is best, while being open to new ideas from people of good faith seeking the same, and ultimately coming to a majority consensus that best serves all, is the essence of good government.”

And finally, John has a long history of service, whether as a board member of the USO Puget Sound Area, Friends of the Newcastle Library, Newcastle Chamber of Commerce and his current position as Newcastle Planning Commission chairman, John gives his time, energy and commitment to his community. Becoming our next City Council member is a natural progression for someone with John’s level of interest and commitment.

You can find out more about John Drescher and his candidacy for City Council Position 6 at his web site, www.johndrescher.com. I urge your support for my/our friend.

Jon Simpson


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August 30, 2013

Why don’t schools use universal plans to build?

I read the headline, “Renton unveils new middle school designs,” in the Aug. 2 newspaper and thought, “What a waste of money.”

The state of Washington, if it did nothing else, should have well-designed plans already available for school districts to use; this could represent a huge reduction in the cost of new schools. These “universal plans” would be modified for a site and could also include any improvements learned from the previous construction and use of the same plan.

When so little of the school revenues actually make it into the classroom to benefit students, it seems a terrible waste of money to pay architectural fees to build new AND different schools each AND every time one is built. This is such a no brainer, but so much of government waste is.

Inez Petersen, J.D.


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June 6, 2013

Push forward to find solutions to fireworks, volunteer problems

In reading the recent article recounting the City Council meeting, which included discussion on future Fourth of July celebrations at Lake Boren, I seriously question Mayor Crispo’s ability to find creative solutions to issues facing our city.

My family attended last year’s event for the first time, and we were pleased to find it a warm and inviting atmosphere. Crispo’s perception that the event was too crowded with inadequate police presence couldn’t have been further from our experience. At no point did I feel my family’s safety was in question. I’m curious to know how many reports were received by the police department regarding concerns about safety at the event.

Addressing the concern with restroom access — there are many companies that provide portable toilets for such events, which easily mitigates that concern. Problem solved.

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May 2, 2013

Save Lake Boren

Or not — it’s up to you, the Newcastle city residents.

Lake Boren is filling up and is in jeopardy of no longer being a lake. Just before the turn of the century, the depth of Lake Boren was 90 feet. In the late ‘70s, it was measured at 43 feet. A couple of years ago, it was 34 feet.

The lake bottom consists of nearly a 100 percent silt and mud. The debris enters the lake during high water runoff periods. Storm waters result in the lakes surface water level to fluctuate up to, and at times, over 4 feet. This is also very damaging to the health of the lake. It allows banks to erode, trees and other debris to fall in, and drain field affluent, fertilizers and animal feces to migrate into the lake. Read more


April 4, 2013

City councilman wants city to be left in good hands

“You got to know when to hold ‘em … know when to walk away.”

I believe that two terms is enough for any council member. Therefore, after eight years on the City Council, I will not file for re-election this spring.

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