Groundbreaking times two

August 7, 2015

NEW — 6 a.m. Aug. 7, 2015

Aegis Gardens, Atlas bring one-of-a-kind communities

History is one of Newcastle’s greatest assets.

The Eastside suburb’s story dates back more than 150 years, when it was the second largest town in King County. During that time, coal was king, and Newcastle had plenty of it.

By Greg Farrar Breaking ground on Aegis Gardens July 30 are (from left) Newcastle Mayor Steve Buri; Aegis Living founder and CEO Dwayne Clark; former U.S. ambassador to China, Washington state governor and King County Executive Gary Locke; and current King County Executive Dow Constantine.

By Greg Farrar
Breaking ground on Aegis Gardens July 30 are (from left) Newcastle Mayor Steve Buri; Aegis Living founder and CEO Dwayne Clark; former U.S. ambassador to China, Washington state governor and King County Executive Gary Locke; and current King County Executive Dow Constantine.

That history was at the forefront of attendees’ minds July 30, when nearly 300 people gathered in Newcastle to celebrate the groundbreaking of a unique Aegis Living retirement community. Read more

Aegis breaks ground on region’s only Chinese-focused retirement community

July 30, 2015

NEW — 9:12 p.m. July 30, 2015

History is one of Newcastle’s greatest assets.

The Eastside suburb’s story dates back more than 150 years, when it was the second largest town in King County. During that time, coal was king, and Newcastle had plenty of it.

By Christina Corrales-Toy Newcastle Mayor Steve Buri, Aegis Living founder Dwayne Clark, former Gov. Gary Locke and King County Executive Dow Constantine break ground on Aegis Gardens, the region's first senior living community built for Chinese-American retirees.

By Christina Corrales-Toy
Newcastle Mayor Steve Buri, Aegis Living founder Dwayne Clark, former Gov. Gary Locke and King County Executive Dow Constantine break ground on Aegis Gardens, the region’s first senior living community built for Chinese-American retirees.

That history was at the forefront of attendees’ minds July 30, when nearly 300 people gathered in Newcastle to celebrate the groundbreaking of a unique Aegis Living retirement community. Read more

John Starbard recognized as Public Employee of the Year

May 3, 2012

King County Executive Dow Constantine praised former Newcastle city manager and director of the Department of Development and Environmental Services, John Starbard, for being named Public Employee of the Year by the Municipal League of King County.

“It wasn’t that long ago that our permitting department was the most maligned of our agencies, with good people struggling with old ways of doing business,” Constantine said in a statement. “I gave John a mandate to reform the agency, and since then he has instituted reforms that have increased efficiency, reduced fees and shortened the time to process permits.”

The award was presented April 5 at the 53rd annual Civic Awards Celebration Dinner at Herban Feast in the SODO area of Seattle.

John Starbard

Starbard fulfilled one executive priority early in his tenure by moving to a fixed rate for each type of permit, instead of billing customers by the hours it took to process a permit — providing customers with predictable costs and, in most cases, reduced fees. A new pre-screening service helps customers ensure their application is complete before submission, which saves processing time.

Starbard enlisted staff to create a new over-the-counter service that now takes two hours instead of the two months it took previously. He also led reductions in the amount of time it takes to issue a permit for custom single-family homes — from 64 days last year down to about 38 days this year, and he says staff members feel they can do even better.

Read more

King County task force says new schools should go in urban areas

April 11, 2012

NEW — 5:30 p.m. April 11, 2012

A 30-member task force unanimously agreed to recommend that new school sitings in King County be done in urban areas and rural towns, not in areas designated as rural.

King County officials announced the decision April 11.

“These are thoughtful recommendations that will help deliver educational excellence for our children without sacrificing the environment of our rural areas,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine in a press release.

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Newcastle Elementary named Earth Hero

April 5, 2012

Students, parents, teachers and staff members who share a passion for environmental conservation — including at Newcastle Elementary School — will be honored by King County Executive Dow Constantine at the county’s annual “Earth Heroes at School” ceremony in April.

“These stewards of the environment are our heroes — for conserving resources, protecting the environment, and spreading the word about sustainable practices,” Constantine said in a statement. “I am proud to recognize them for their hands-on commitment to the planet.”

A King County Green School since 2009, Newcastle Elementary School ensures its recycling and composting programs thrive through Waste Watchers, a program where students monitor lunchroom containers to ensure proper sorting.

In an effort to save paper, the school’s staff-meeting notes are no longer printed out, and teachers and students work together to post signs about conserving resources.

The school has also increased its recycling rate from 50 percent to 60 percent.

The executive will present awards to Earth Heroes at 4:30 p.m. April 26 at Maplewood Greens, in Renton.

The program will recognize one student, three student groups, four school programs, eight teachers and seven other school employees this year.

Some of the accomplishments of those receiving the awards include enhancing the health of a local watershed; creating an eco-leaders program for fifth-graders to teach environmental topics to younger schoolmates; repairing old computers and distributing them free to needy families; and repurposing and reusing furniture, equipment and materials that would otherwise have been discarded.

Many winners also participate in the King County Green Schools Program to take specific actions to conserve natural resources and reduce waste.

Email Donna Miscolta at donna.miscolta@kingcounty.gov or call 206-296-4477 for information about the Earth Heroes at School Program.

Newcastle Elementary honored with King County Earth Heroes award

March 29, 2012

NEW — 10:50 a.m. March 29, 2012

Students, parents, teachers and staff members who share a passion for environmental conservation — including Newcastle Elementary School — will be honored by King County Executive Dow Constantine at the county’s annual “Earth Heroes at School” ceremony in April.

“These stewards of the environment are our heroes – for conserving resources, protecting the environment, and spreading the word about sustainable practices,” Constantine said in a statement. “I am proud to recognize them for their hands-on commitment to the planet.”

As a King County Green School since 2009, Newcastle Elementary School ensures its recycling and composting programs thrive through Waste Watchers, a program where students who monitor the lunchroom containers to ensure proper sorting.

In an effort to save paper, the school’s staff meeting notes are no longer printed out, and teachers and students work together to post signs about conserving resources.

Newcastle Elementary has also increased its recycling rate from 50 to 60 percent.

Read more