Notes from Newcastle: Newcastle Trails at 15

October 3, 2014

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Garry Kampen

This year is the 20th anniversary of Newcastle, a small city that ranks high in livability, and the 15th anniversary of Newcastle Trails, a nonprofit citizens group that has worked for parks, trails and open space, in close cooperation with the city, since 1999.

I’m writing to celebrate Newcastle’s amazing and still-growing trail system, and to encourage you to explore it and enjoy it. Check NT’s website, www.newcastletrails.org; download our latest map and trail guide; join NT by emailing info@newcastletrails.org (for trail news, no dues); attend our Oct. 6 board meeting (7 p.m. at Regency Newcastle); and consider volunteering for the board, or lending a hand with trail work, computer work (GIS, web, writing), lobbying, fundraising — whatever you’d like to do. Read more

Letters

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.

Read more

Summer events lined up

June 5, 2014

Fireworks will again grace the Newcastle skies this Fourth of July, and this time for more than a few minutes.

Attendees at last year’s Independence Day celebration at Lake Boren Park will remember that technical difficulties shortened what was supposed to be a 12-minute fireworks display.

The Olympia-based company Entertainment Fireworks Inc. took full responsibility for the problems, City Manager Rob Wyman said last year. Newcastle will contract with the company again for its 2014 fireworks show, with assurances the issues won’t occur again.

“I have spoken with the owner multiple times on the phone and he has assured me 200 percent that we will not have the problem again,” said Wendy Kirchner, Newcastle’s community activities liaison. “They’ve got a very, very experienced pyrotechnician that’s going to be working with us.” Read more