November 13, 2012
NEW — 11:40 a.m. Nov. 13, 2012
Bellevue will hold an open house to discuss construction of a new bridge that will replace an aging culvert under Coal Creek Parkway.
The culvert is located between Southeast 60th Street and Forest Drive Southeast. The project will protect the roadway, improve public safety, provide a new pedestrian walkway and improve fish passage.
Construction is set to begin April 2013 and will require long-term lane closures on the road in 2013 and 2014. Read more
July 9, 2012
NEW — 3:30 p.m. July 9, 2012
All active-duty military members and their spouses can receive a free one-hour therapeutic massage session at all Puget Sound area Massage Envy locations — including the Newcastle branch on Coal Creek Parkway — July 23.
The event marks the second annual “Massage for the Military Day” created by the local Massage Envy clinics, in partnership with the USO Puget Sound Area, as a way to both honor local heroes and their families, as well as provide beneficial stress relief through massage.
“Last year’s Massage for the Military Day was very popular, and we know it means a lot to our local service members and their spouses,” said Don Leingang, USO Puget Sound area executive director. “We are glad to again be partnering with Massage Envy to bring this unique program to the Northwest.”
July 3, 2012
The man suspected of robbing the Newcastle branch of KeyBank on June 14 was arrested June 22, according to a statement from Newcastle Police Chief Melinda Irvine.
Gorricho Desue is believed to be responsible for two other bank robberies in Mount Vernon and in Moses Lake.
The FBI Safe Streets Task Force worked immediately after the Newcastle robbery to identify the suspect, locate him and take him into custody.
“Our praise to the FBI for their great work,” Irvine said. “We appreciate their efforts.”
The suspect, wearing a bandage on the left side of his face during the incident, robbed the KeyBank, 6917 Coal Creek Parkway S.E., at about 10:30 a.m. June 14.
He was described as a 6-foot, 240-pound black male in his 30s.
He is believed to be the same suspect who robbed the Bank of America, 320 W. Kincaid St. in Mount Vernon, on June 12 due to similarities in appearance and method, FBI spokeswoman Ayn Dietrich said.
Dietrich said the details of how the Newcastle robbery took place cannot be released at this time, but the robber was not armed. She was not able to release how much money was taken from the bank, she said.
Residents who see suspicious activity can call 911 or the Newcastle Police Department’s nonemergency dispatch number, 206-296-3311, for an officer to respond.
June 23, 2012
NEW — 4:25 p.m. June 23, 2012
The man suspected of robbing the Newcastle branch of Key Bank at about 10:30 a.m. June 14 was arrested June 22, according to statement from Newcastle Police Chief Melinda Irvine.
He is believed to be responsible for two other bank robberies in Mt. Vernon and in Moses Lake.
The FBI Safe Streets Task Force worked immediately following the Newcastle robbery to identify the suspect, locate him and take him into custody.
“Our praise to the FBI for their great work,” Irvine said. “We appreciate their efforts.”
June 14, 2012
NEW 4:35 p.m.— June 14, 2012
The Newcastle branch of Key Bank was robbed at about 10:30 a.m. June 14, according to statement from Newcastle Police Chief Melinda Irvine.
The suspect, who was wearing a bandage on the left side of his face during the incident, robbed the Key Bank located at 6917 Coal Creek Parkway S.E.
He is described as a 6 foot, 240 pound black male in his 30s.
He is believed to be the same suspect who robbed the Bank of America on June 12 at 320 W. Kincaid St. in Mount Vernon due to similarities in appearance and method, said FBI spokeswoman Ayn Dietrich.
Dietrich said the details of how the robbery took place cannot be released at this time, but the robbery was not armed. She was not able to release how much money was taken from the bank, she said.
Residents who may have seen the man in the business area of Newcastle the morning of June 14 are asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-222- 8477.
May 31, 2012
A 1994 black Honda Civic with Washington license plates was reported stolen April 25 in the 6800 block of Coal Creek Parkway.
A Newcastle woman reported April 25 that someone had been using checks to draw money out of her checking account. She became aware of the problem when she went into the Newcastle branch of Bank of America and told she was overdrawn.
A woman who lives at the Newport Crossing apartments, 7311 Coal Creek Parkway, reported her Pioneer car stereo was stolen from her vehicle, and $230 in cash was taken from her and her roommate from the apartment April 26.
May 3, 2012
Recycling increased more than 22 percent last year
The city of Newcastle and Waste Management received a Washington State Recycling Association Recyclers of the Year award May 1 for their competitive project to increase neighborhood recycling last year.
Recipients are selected by a panel of association members representing several aspects of the recycling industry, including collectors and processors, government agencies, businesses and nonprofit organizations.
“Through innovative programs like the recycling challenge, cities and other organizations can assist in reducing environmental impacts,” Newcastle City Manager Rob Wyman said in a statement. “Newcastle is proud of the award and of its citizens who rose to the challenge.”
During Newcastle’s Waste Less, Recycle More, Win Big event, residents were encouraged to recycle more, reduce what they sent to the landfill and lower the community’s carbon footprint. Two neighborhoods competed for a $5,000 neighborhood improvement grant. The campaign resulted in a citywide 22.8 percent increase.
April 5, 2012
Newcastle Trails is looking to complete and explore possible projects in coming months.
The East May Creek Trail is walkable from Coal Creek Parkway down to the “picnic site” (logs make ad hoc benches and tables) just down May Creek from the mouth of Boren Creek.
From there, a rough trail exists all the way to the existing May Creek Trail. The section along the creek is being steadily improved by Newcastle Trails volunteers working closely with the city of Newcastle.
The final sections up to the existing trail will be completed as a series of Eagle Scout projects.
Working with officials from Newcastle and Renton, the trails organization has identified a possible route and bridge location for the extension of the May Creek Trail west into the city of Renton.
The group is also examining the prospect of resuming work on the East CrossTown Trail when the Newcastle Vista subdivision goes in later this year.
Many volunteers will be needed to help to get the trails finished quickly.
Email Peggy Price at email@example.com to volunteer.
March 2, 2012
Newcastle Mayor Rich Crispo stressed financial responsibility and smart economic development — and redevelopment — during the city’s 2012 State of the City address.
The address, given before residents and the Newcastle Chamber of Commerce at its monthly luncheon Feb. 8 at Tapatio Mexican Grill, laid out big-picture goals for the city for the upcoming year and beyond.
The city must find a balance of opening its doors to new growth and redevelopment without losing its sense of identity, he said.
“The first thing we have to do is let people know Newcastle is open for business,” he said. “That may sound kind of trite, but when you think about the 17 years of this city and how many new buildings have been put up here in a commercial sense … you have Valley Medical Center, you have the library that is in construction right now and you have the professional building. That’s it.”
Crispo cited the City Council’s work to revamp Newcastle’s downtown business code last year as ways the city has tried to entice new developers to town.
Few major developable properties are left within city limits, he said. Instead, larger opportunities loom with a chance for redevelopment of existing properties, such as the Mutual Materials brick plant site off of Coal Creek Parkway.
February 3, 2012
Nestled back from a short, paved driveway off of Newcastle’s Coal Creek Parkway, the now defunct Mutual Materials brick plant still looms large.
Covered awnings still protect masonry products and other materials, stacked more than 10 feet high on pallets, from the rain.
A small stream meanders by the closed chain link fence gating its entrance and a quiet has essentially blanketed the plant since it shut down its day-to-day operations last spring.
But now a different kind of work is going on here — work that might lead to redevelopment of the site that would impact the city of Newcastle for years to come, a fact not lost on Mutual Materials executives and shareholders, Mutual Materials President Joe Bowen said.
“Given the sense of pride that we’ve had about what we’ve done there, we just want to make sure whatever the result of that property is … that we’ll be able to look back at what goes in there and still have that sense of pride,” he said. “The community of Newcastle has been very, very gracious to us for years. It’s important that we give this the consideration that this community deserves.”
Looking back to the beginning
The day was unseasonably dry for June in Seattle.
Little rain had been recorded. Temperatures were hovering steady in the 70s.
John Back was at work heating glue over a gasoline fire at Victor Clairmont’s downtown Seattle woodworking shop the afternoon of June 6, 1889.
But as the glue boiled over and caught fire, eventually spreading and burning about 25 city blocks in the Great Seattle Fire, Back would have more of an impact on Seattle history than he could have ever known.
The next day, nearly 600 businessmen in the Seattle area came together to determine how to rebuild.
It was mandated by the mayor that the downtown business core would be rebuilt with brick.
With only brick.
Experienced bricklayer Daniel Houlahan traveled from California to help pave the city’s roads and sidewalks — a journey that would help rebuild Seattle’s infrastructure and eventually impact the city of Newcastle for years to come.
Houlahan located a clay deposit to use for a brick plant and found an ideal site at the base of Beacon Hill and went on to found the Builders Brick Co. — Mutual Materials’ predecessor — in 1890.
After Builders Brick went on to supply much of the brick that rebuilt and continues to build Seattle, the company purchased Mutual Materials, a local distributor that opened its doors in 1959.
After expanding its operations into the marketing and distribution business, Builders Brick officially changed its name to Mutual Materials Co. in 1966.
In 2003, the plant was boasting an output of about 25 million bricks per year.
Today, Mutual Materials is the largest producer and distributor of masonry and hardscape products for household and commercial uses in the Pacific Northwest.