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.

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Letters — June 6

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.)

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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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