Council approves speed humps for Southeast 75th Street corridor

August 6, 2015

NEW — 2:36 p.m. Aug. 6, 2015

Newcastle resident Jo Ann Pancheri often sits in her home, peering out the window, clutching her phone and waiting for the worst.

Her house sits at the intersection of Southeast 75th Street and 125th Place Southeast, a corridor where neighbors have repeatedly asked for traffic-calming measures.

Pancheri has an unobstructed view to the speeding and near-miss accidents that community members say plague the neighborhood.

“I wait every day with my phone waiting to call 911,” she told the Newcastle City Council on July 21, illustrating her fear of witnessing a major accident. Read more

Notes from Newcastle: Newcastle Trails at 15

October 3, 2014


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,; download our latest map and trail guide; join NT by emailing (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

Newcastle plans National Night Out events

July 31, 2014

Newcastle will join cities across the country to celebrate National Night Out Aug. 5.

The event aims to heighten crime prevention awareness, strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships, and send a message to criminals about neighborhoods organized against criminal activity.

National Night Out is celebrated with neighborhood block parties, often visited by local law enforcement.

The Donegal Park neighborhood event begins at 5:30 p.m. at Donegal Park, 7319 125th Ave. S.E. Neighbors are encouraged to bring folding chairs and food for grilling on the park’s barbeque, said event coordinator Lorinda Ecklund. Read more

Neighborhoods plan for National Night Out

July 1, 2011

Newcastle neighborhoods have started planning for National Night Out. The Aug. 2 event is a nationwide drug- and crime-prevention event from 7-10 p.m. that evening.

The Hazelwood Community Association will hold a community picnic at Donegal Park, 7319 125th Ave. S.E., from 5:30-7:30 p.m. All are welcome attend. A grill will be available for use, but attendees must bring their own food.

Newcastle Police Officer Ryan Olmsted is organizing this year’s event. Call him at City Hall at 649-4444, ext. 120, or email him at if you are interested in setting up a gathering in your neighborhood.

Volunteers get fired up to honor local barbecue legend

April 1, 2011

The record was nine spoonfuls, Gene Porter once said.

That was the largest quantity of his signature, blistering hot sauce anybody could down. It was that hot sauce — known as “the man” — and succulent, Louisiana-style barbecue that launched Porter’s Bellevue restaurant, Dixie’s Barbeque, to fame.

Gene Porter

His friends remember him being as lively as his hot sauce, and it hit the community hard when the Newcastle resident died of bone cancer Feb. 28, 2010.

The Hazelwood Community Association and Newcastle Trails banded together early this year to raise funds for a memorial for Porter in Donegal Park. However, the memorial won’t just be a bench or a tree — it will be a 41-inch-wide charcoal barbecue southeast of the park’s gazebo.

“It’s a totally fitting memorial,” said Garry Kampen, a member of the Hazelwood Community Association board of directors.

Hazelwood Community Association President Gordon Bisset said the group hopes to finish fundraising by June 1 and have the memorial completely installed by Aug. 2, just in time for the annual National Night Out barbecue.

Organizers have already raised more than $1,500 of the estimated $4,500 total cost. If they reach their goal, the memorial could include a plaque with a dedication, trash and ash cans, wood benches and a seat wall on the nearby sloping ground.

Read more