Public works director leaving for North Bend

June 5, 2014

By Christina Corrales-Toy Mark Rigos, outgoing Newcastle Public Works director, with his son Alexander, speaks at the May Creek Trail ribbon-cutting ceremony Sept. 15.

By Christina Corrales-Toy
Mark Rigos, outgoing Newcastle Public Works director, with his son Alexander, speaks at the May Creek Trail ribbon-cutting ceremony Sept. 15.

Newcastle Public Works Director Mark Rigos has only worked with the city for three years, but his impact on the community is so great that when he announced his resignation, at least one resident became emotional at the thought of losing him. Read more

City has big shoes to fill in public works

June 5, 2014

The community will lose an important asset this month, when Public Works Director Mark Rigos leaves for the same position at North Bend.

North Bend’s population is smaller than Newcastle’s, by about 4,000 residents, but it offers greater responsibilities, including managing the city’s water and sewer district.

Rigos was only with Newcastle for three years, but it has certainly felt like much longer than that, given the way he has fully ingratiated himself within the community.

In his time with Newcastle, Rigos redefined what it meant to be a public works director, when he equally prioritized public safety and customer service. Read more

Our hero, our friend

May 15, 2014

NEW — 12:15 p.m. May 15, 2014

By Autumn Koepp Mayor John Dulcich stands with hundreds of mourners as they watch a procession of more than 450 police vehicles drive through Newcastle in honor of fallen Deputy Richard Herzog in 2002.

By Autumn Koepp
Mayor John Dulcich stands with hundreds of mourners as they watch a procession of more than 450 police vehicles drive through Newcastle in honor of fallen Deputy Richard Herzog in 2002.

May 15 is Peace Officers Memorial Day, part of National Police Week, which recognizes the men and women who have fallen in the line of duty. In honor of the day, we went through our archives and found this guest editorial penned by then-Newcastle Mayor John Dulcich in the July 12, 2002 Newcastle News issue. It is reprinted below in recognition of Deputy Rich Herzog’s sacrifice to the Newcastle community. Read more

Neighbors voice concerns about Energize Eastside

May 1, 2014

UPDATED — 9:45 p.m. May 1, 2014

*This story has been updated to reflect the following change: The initial version, and the one seen in the May 2 print edition, stated that Larry Johnson and the Olympus Homeowners Association would get a chance to give their own presentation about Energize Eastside at the May 6 Newcastle City Council. That has now been rescheduled for a later date to be determined*

Upgrades to infrastructure needed

When Newcastle neighbors Larry Johnson and Dave Edmonds peer into the backyards of their Olympus homes, transmission lines and power poles greet them.

It’s not the best view, but residents have learned to live with the 60-foot beams that carry 115 kilovolt power lines. The infrastructure has been there since long before the city was incorporated 20 years ago.

Those poles could get a lot taller, with lines that carry even more power, if Puget Sound Energy upgrades that corridor as part of its Energize Eastside project.

Courtesy Puget Sound Energy At left, a growing Eastside, especially the area west of Lake Sammamish, is putting a strain on the region’s electric system, as seen in this future growth map. Above, PSE’s solution to the region’s growing power demand is to build about 18 miles of 230 kilovolt transmission lines from Redmond to Renton.

Courtesy Puget Sound Energy
At left, a growing Eastside, especially the area west of Lake Sammamish, is putting a strain on the region’s electric system, as seen in this future growth map. Above, PSE’s solution to the region’s growing power demand is to build about 18 miles of 230 kilovolt transmission lines from Redmond to Renton.

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Annual town hall meeting is June 3

May 1, 2014

The city of Newcastle’s annual town hall meeting will be held in June this year, instead of October.

The date was changed so the City Council can get the benefit of citizen input earlier on in the budget process. Town hall meetings are a chance for residents to tell representatives what they’d like to see happen in their city.

Electronic polling devices will be used to gather opinions, and this year’s event will feature additional time for residents to speak. The town hall meeting is from 7-9 p.m. June 3 at The Golf Club at Newcastle, 15500 Six Penny Lane.

 

 

Newcastle is named a Tree City for seventh year

April 9, 2014

NEW — 4:10 p.m. April 9, 2014

Contributed Volunteers plant trees at Newcastle’s Arbor Day celebration Oct. 26.

Contributed
Volunteers plant trees at Newcastle’s Arbor Day celebration Oct. 26.

Newcastle was named a Tree City USA for its seventh straight year in honor of Arbor Day April 9. Read more

City manager receives $10,000 raise

April 3, 2014

After evaluating City Manager Rob Wyman’s performance in several closed executive sessions, the Newcastle City Council approved a $10,000 raise for the position at its March 18 meeting.

The raise, retroactive to Jan. 1, increases Wyman’s annual salary from $120,000 to $130,000. The council also granted Wyman two days of merit leave, the same as last year.

Wyman was hired as interim city manager in January 2010, and the council selected him as the permanent city manager that August. This is the third consecutive year that the council awarded him a raise, and it’s his highest yet. He received a $6,000 raise in 2012 and a $4,000 raise in 2013.

Rob Wyman

Rob Wyman

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Pet license checks begin in April

April 3, 2014

A trained, professional canvasser working for Regional Animal Services of King County and the city of Newcastle will soon go door-to-door in an effort to ensure pets living in the city are properly licensed.

The canvasser will visit homes on weekends April 5 through 27 and on May 4. The person can be identified by a county name badge and logo shirt, and will carry business cards and pet licensing documents.

All cats and dogs 8 weeks old and older living in Newcastle are required to be licensed by King County. Canvassers will not give citations for unlicensed pets, but will issue temporary licenses, which allow 30 days for the purchase of permanent tags.

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Newcastle celebrates Earth Day April 19

April 3, 2014

If you happen to catch a knight in shining armor meandering across the Lake Boren Park lawn April 19, don’t be alarmed, it’s just one of the newest attractions at the city’s sixth annual Earth Day celebration.

The medieval flare comes courtesy of the Knights of Veritas, a group of performers that call upon the code of chivalry and the values of knighthood to educate audiences.

“In our case, they’ll be teaching the importance of environmental chivalry,” event Chairwoman Grace Stiller said.

Josephine Yen, 12, of Bellevue, looks and listens as a male Pacific tree frog fills its vocalizing sack at the 2013 Newcastle Earth Day event.  By Greg Farrar

Josephine Yen, 12, of Bellevue, looks and listens as a male Pacific tree frog fills its vocalizing sack at the 2013 Newcastle Earth Day event. By Greg Farrar

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Mayor touts ‘small-town feel’ of city

March 5, 2014

The Newcastle mayor made his annual visit to the Newcastle Chamber of Commerce luncheon, and for the first time, it was newly elected Mayor Steve Buri who spoke to the audience of residents and local business leaders Feb. 12.

In an approximately 20-minute address, Buri talked about his love of Newcastle’s sense of community, and he updated citizens about improvements to Lake Boren Park, development of the Mutual Materials site and a potential new project to expand the May Creek Trail.

Buri, who assumed the mayor’s role in January, introduced himself before discussing city matters. He moved to Newcastle in 1998, he said, where he and his wife quickly fell in love with the city.

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