September 30, 2015
NEW — 2:56 p.m. Sept. 30, 2015
Newcastle has the opportunity to elect an excellent candidate to Position 1, City Council: Linda Newing.
I have had the honor of working with Linda for the past two years. She has served as vice chairwoman of the Community Activities Commission and I have been impressed with her conscientious devotion to the CAC’s work and its charter.
The CAC is comprised of seven community members who volunteer time and expertise to serve as a review and advisory body to the City Council on city parks, trails, recreation programs and special community events. Read more
September 30, 2015
NEW — 2:54 p.m. Sept. 30, 2015
Every election we, as voters, have a responsibility to select the right people to guide our city. Sometimes the choice is difficult, but not this year.
Linda Newing and Allen Dauterman have earned the right to represent us through their willingness to serve and the actions they have taken to be as informed as possible. Linda led a neighborhood action to build a new a park in her neighborhood, serves as the vice chairwoman of the Community Activities Commission, is the lead on many summer events, such as Newcastle Days, and has pursued meetings with city staff to become knowledgeable about budgets, public safety issues and infrastructure management. Her experience working for the city of Renton will be a valuable asset. Read more
September 30, 2015
NEW — 2:50 p.m. Sept. 30, 2015
In reference to the September article “The Beat is Back,” I am extremely pleased Hazen once again has a marching band. However, someone provided Chris Coy with incorrect information when he states, “The Highlanders have gone without one since 1978.”
As president of Hazen High Band Booster Club, 1990-1992, I wish to correct that statement. From 1980 until the mid-1990s, Hazen had a very vibrant music program under the direction of Steve Burpee. During Burpee’s tenure, Hazen had not only a marching band, there was a pep band that played and marched at all Hazen home football games, a pep band for both boys’ and girls’ basketball games, a jazz band and a concert band.
My son was a member of the marching band and the jazz band for four years, graduating in 1992. During that time, Hazen participated each year in the International Band Festival in Abbotsford British Columbia. The competition included both concert and marching band and culminated with a parade of all the bands throughout downtown Abbotsford. Hazen’s jazz band also took part in several statewide Jazz Band competitions each year. My son, along with a number of other of Burpee’s students, continued as members of university and college marching bands. Read more
September 2, 2015
NEW — 4:48 p.m. Sept. 2, 2015
Reject the proposed School Woods plan
I am writing this to express my opposition to the proposed plan for the School Woods. Beyond the loss of trails, the increased residential and “cut-through” traffic through two established neighborhoods, and the violation of existing wetlands, it is a shame to have lost a potential open space and park area.
This is especially true in a city having the least park land of any in the area (4.7 acres of park acreage per 1,000 residents in Newcastle, compared to Renton’s 12.7 acres and Bellevue’s 21.2).
Further, the proposed development shows a complete lack of imagination and respect for the land. The site plan as it stands is in the perfect image of California practice: Flatten for building pad, drop, flatten for building pad, drop again, flatten for building pad, drop again, etc., extending over the entire site. This is a forced, high-density housing development that shows little or no sympathy and respect for existing neighborhood ambiance. Read more
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