City sponsors food drive to benefit Hopelink

October 30, 2012

NEW — 2:15 p.m. Oct. 30, 2012

Community members are invited to join city staff in participating in a food drive to benefit Hopelink, a local nonprofit organization that serves homeless and low-income families, children, seniors and people with disabilities.

Hopelink’s mission is to promote self-sufficiency for all community members.

The city will collect nonperishable food donations between Oct. 30 and Nov. 9.

Food can be dropped off in bins located just outside City Hall elevators.

City Hall’s address is 12835 Newcastle Way, Suite 200

Skyhawks camps filling up for the summer

July 1, 2011

Skyhawks summer camps in Newcastle are filling up quickly for the summer.

Most courses have fewer than 10 spots remaining. The first camp begins July 5.

Camps are for children ages 5-12, and they include golf, basketball, tennis, cheerleading and Mini-Hawk, which includes basketball, baseball and soccer.

Camps are five days each and range in price from $69 to $145. They will be held at Lake Boren Park, Renton Academy or Hazelwood Elementary School.

Get the full list of camps by going to, and enter your ZIP code.

Call Newcastle Parks and Recreation at City Hall at 649-4444 or the Skyhawks at 800-804-3509, toll free, with questions.

Get ready for start of campaign season

May 6, 2011

If you’ve been thinking about taking on a bigger leadership role in Newcastle, it’s time to take the next step. Filing for candidates is June 6-10.

Newcastle City Council, school districts and the Coal Creek Utility District will hold elections this fall.

Many candidates are already filling out the needed paperwork with the state. Others have announced their intentions.

City Council incumbents Lisa Jensen, Carol Simpson and Steve Buri will seek re-election. Sonny Putter will opt out after serving 17 years; Parks Commission Chair Andrew Shelton has said he will seek Putter’s seat.

Council candidates must be registered voters at the time of filing and have one year of Newcastle residency. Those qualifications are the law, but candidates should also bring the willingness to devote hours every week to numerous meetings and study of the issues. An elected official’s most important attribute is the ability to listen and communicate.

The issues sure to be hot topics in City Council races this year include future city budgets, future development in the city limits and mitigation of seasonal flooding on Lake Boren. Park development and funding is sure to come up, and the relocation of City Hall will likely get rehashed.

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5K is likely to join Newcastle Days lineup

May 6, 2011

The Newcastle 5K, in its third year this year, will likely join the Newcastle Days lineup this summer, according to Newcastle Days committee officials.

The race, which typically takes place in late August, will be held the morning of Sept. 10 as part of the festivities in Lake Boren Park.

The race typically begins and ends in Lake Boren Park. It follows a 3.1-mile path, circles the park and follows city trails to the south.

Valley Medical Center has again committed to sponsoring Newcastle Days with $10,000.

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Newcastle hit by recent string of burglaries

April 29, 2011

UPDATED — 10:35 a.m. May 2, 2011

Newcastle was hit by two strings of burglaries during the last two weeks, Police Chief Melinda Irvine wrote in an electronic alert to residents April 26. Irvine released descriptions April 29 of two vehicles of interest in the crimes.

The first string of burglaries occurred in the Lake Washington Crest neighborhood. Burglars forced their ways into three homes in the 8000 block of 119th Avenue Southeast, entering through back doors. The burglaries occurred during the day April 19.

What appears to be a second burglar or group of burglars broke into three garages across the city at night between April 20 and 25, stealing items from cars parked inside, Irvine said.

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Newcastle to take part in Passport Day USA Saturday

April 6, 2011

NEW — 5:25 p.m. April 6, 2011

Newcastle will take part in Passport Day USA, accepting passport applications at City Hall, 13020 Newcastle Way, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 9. Call City Hall at 649-4444 to make an appointment.

Bring a certified birth certificate, two passport photos and identification (such as a driver’s license), and be prepared to make two separate payments. You can have passport photos taken at Bartell Drugs, 6939 Coal Creek Parkway S.E., or the UPS Store, 6947 Coal Creek Parkway S.E.

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Reserve funds, utility money to pay for City Hall move

April 1, 2011

The City Council voted 6-1 at its March 15 meeting to pay for this year’s $250,000 City Hall move with money from its cumulative reserve fund and surface water management fund.

The reserves will take the biggest hit, funding $225,000, and the surface water management fund will cover the remaining $25,000.

The $250,000 will cover remodeling costs in the new building and all moving expenses.

That was one of two funding structures city staff proposed when the City Council voted in February to move City Hall from the Newport Manufacturing building, 13020 Newcastle Way, to the Newcastle Professional Center, 12835 Newcastle Way.

The city’s cumulative reserve fund has $1.5 million for capital purchases or unforeseen operating costs, although the city has never drawn money from the fund to pay for capital purchases, according to city code. Use of the reserves requires a two-thirds majority vote by the City Council.

The surface water management fund typically pays for maintenance of and repairs to the city’s surface water system, which includes drainage ponds. However, the fund is also used to cover overhead costs and salaries for employees who work on surface water projects.

City Manager Rob Wyman said that is the only fund — other than the general fund — that funds staff salaries and overhead, so it can bear some of the cost of the move.

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City Hall now offers passport service

April 1, 2011

Need a passport? City Hall, 13020 Newcastle Way, began issuing passports March 21 on behalf of the Department of State. To apply for a passport or get your passport renewed, make an appointment to visit City Hall between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., Monday through Thursday.

Bring a certified birth certificate, two passport photos and identification (such as a driver’s license), and be prepared to make two separate payments. You can have passport photos taken at Bartell Drugs, 6939 Coal Creek Parkway S.E., or the UPS Store, 6947 Coal Creek Parkway S.E.

Payment consists of a $25 fee per application and a variable fee depending on if you want a passport, a passport card (which is the size of a driver’s license and allows you to travel to Canada and Mexico only) or both. The variable fee must be paid by check or money order.

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Rapid Response

April 1, 2011

Newcastle now has 10,380 people. What do you think of the city finally hitting the 10,000 mark?

Great! Does that make us a little closer to gaining our own ZIP code?

— Trina Sooy, Newcastle

I think hitting the 10,000 mark is a cause for celebration! We are a growing city … and that is good news for tax revenues and interest in our city.

— Jackie Foskett, Newcastle

Not much. It’s our quality of life that matters, not a number.

— Lee Strom, Newcastle

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City Hall to relocate by end of the year

March 4, 2011

UPDATED — 4:25 p.m. March 4, 2011

Council turns down offer to use both floors of current building

Newcastle City Hall will move to the second floor of the Newcastle Professional Center, 12835 Newcastle Way, by the end of the year. By Tim Pfarr

So long, 13020 Newcastle Way. The City Council voted to move City Hall to the 7,500-square-foot second floor of the Newcastle Professional Center, 12835 Newcastle Way, by the end of the year.

City staff recommended the move, expected to cost $250,000.

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