Letters

August 29, 2014

Why did our city commissioners vote to support illegal drug dealers?

The recent announcement that our city commissioners voted to prohibit consideration of the possible establishment of state-monitored and state-taxed retail outlets for marijuana constitutes a vote to continue the monopoly of the illegal dug trade.

Despite the democratic vote of the public to legalize limited recreational use and sale of marijuana under controlled conditions designed to protect the public and our children, our commissioners voted to act against the public’s will by placing a moratorium on considering retail outlets in Newcastle.

This appears to be a misguided intention to keep marijuana out of Newcastle. Read more

Editorial

July 31, 2014

Be responsible with your marijuana

Marijuana.

No matter how you feel about it, it’s now legal to purchase and smoke it in the state of Washington. (Leave it to officials to sort out the federal vs. state issue, though at this point, no one has announced plans to crack down on people who take a toke.)

And although there is not a local place to make a purchase, and there won’t be one in Newcastle anytime soon as a result of the City Council’s recent moratorium, 24 retailers in the Puget Sound area were granted licenses in early July by the state Liquor Control Board.

A majority of voters wanted marijuana, and now we all have it. In order to turn that initiative and vote into a real win, people must be responsible with their pot. Read more

Council passes marijuana moratorium

July 31, 2014

Newcastle residents won’t find a marijuana retail establishment in the city anytime soon.

The Newcastle City Council approved a six-month moratorium on marijuana-related business activity within Newcastle, at its July 1 meeting.

“A moratorium is simply a procedural mechanism this council can adopt to literally hold the status quo as is, meaning, it gives you six months to review something,” city attorney Dawn Reitan told council members. “Nothing comes in while that happens.”

Councilman Gordon Bisset made the motion instituting the moratorium. It passed 4-3, with council members Lisa Jensen, Carol Simpson and Rich Crispo dissenting. Read more

Newcastle City Council roundup — July 1

July 2, 2014

NEW — 3 p.m. July 2, 2014

The Newcastle City Council held its first meeting of the month July 1. Here is the Cliffs Notes version of what happened at City Hall. View the full meeting agenda online here and listen to the full meeting audio here.

Energize Eastside

Energize Eastside was back on the agenda for the first time since Puget Sound Energy’s April 1 presentation to the City Council.

This time, a citizen group had the chance to offer their own presentation about the project, in response the region’s growing power demands, which will bring new, higher capacity electric transmission lines to the Eastside. Read more

City gets pulse of its citizens at town hall

July 2, 2014

Feedback given on marijuana, work  at Lake Boren Park

About 130 residents armed with electronic voting clickers responded to poll questions at the city’s annual town hall meeting held June 3 at The Golf Club at Newcastle.

Unlike the town hall in October, this meeting was less presentation-based and more about soliciting resident feedback on a variety of topics, including marijuana and Lake Boren Park improvements.

The electronic voting devices allowed residents to offer real-time responses, and gave City Council members and staff a better idea of their citizens’ priorities.

Read more

Marijuana, disc golf and more on May 20 City Council agenda

May 19, 2014

NEW — 2 p.m. May 19, 2014

The Newcastle City Council will have its hand full with a loaded agenda featuring everything from marijuana legislation to a grant application for a disc golf course at its May 20 regular meeting.

The evening will begin with a presentation by a representative from A Regional Coalition for Housing (ARCH). Arthur Sullivan will talk about emergency shelter and daytime services for homeless.

In one of the more noteworthy agenda items, the council will review an ordinance imposing a six-month moratorium on recreational marijuana businesses and medical marijuana collective gardens within the city.

Before that, they’ll consider a applying for a grant for the construction of a disc golf course on a property located north of Southeast 95th. Also known as Frisbee golf, it involves throwing flying discs at a target. Read more

Newcastle City Council roundup — May 6

May 7, 2014

NEW — 4:05 p.m. May 7, 2014

The Newcastle City Council held its first meeting of the month May 6. Here is the Cliffs Notes version of what happened at City Hall. View the full meeting agenda online here.

Marijuana moratorium coming?

The Newcastle City Council directed city staff to prepare an ordinance placing a moratorium on marijuana-related business in the city. It represents one of the body’s first significant actions on the subject since the drug’s legalization.

Councilman Gordon Bisset made the motion, which passed 4-3. Read more

Energize Eastside, marijuana and more on April 1 City Council agenda

March 31, 2014

NEW — 4:05 p.m. March 31, 2014

The Newcastle City Council is expecting a full house at its April 1 meeting, when it hosts representatives from Puget Sound Energy.

Puget Sound Energy will be on hand to answer questions about its Energize Eastside project. The project, in response to the region’s growing power needs, will bring new higher capacity electric transmission lines to the Eastside.

The new lines will extend from a substation in Redmond to Renton, but the exact route the lines will take is currently unknown. One of the proposed routes directly affects the Olympus neighborhood. Several residents plan on attending the April 1 meeting.

Also on the agenda is another discussion about marijuana legalization and its impact on the city of Newcastle. In December, the council decided against imposing a marijuana moratorium, electing instead to employ a wait-and-see approach when it comes to the drug.

View the full agenda here.

Liberty teens get candid about marijuana at school forum

March 5, 2014

By Christina Corrales-Toy Liberty High School students (from left) Jenna Purkis, Neil Chakravarty and Ashton Herrild talk about the effects the legalization of marijuana has on teens at a Drug Free Community Coalition forum held at Liberty on Feb. 6.

By Christina Corrales-Toy
Liberty High School students (from left) Jenna Purkis, Neil Chakravarty and Ashton Herrild talk about the effects the legalization of marijuana has on teens at a Drug Free Community Coalition forum held at Liberty on Feb. 6.

Not much has changed about the perception of marijuana among teens since voters elected to legalize the drug with the passage of Initiative 502 in 2012.

If anything, legalization has made the drug seem more acceptable, according to a group of Liberty High School students at the third and final forum hosted by the Drug Free Community Coalition Feb. 6.

Read more

Marijuana, street names and more on Aug. 20 Council agenda

August 20, 2013

NEW — 1:10 p.m. Aug. 20, 2013

The Newcastle City Council is set to meet for the first time this month, and the council members will delve into a full agenda for the Aug. 20 meeting.

In general business items, the Newcastle City Council will discuss the Newcastle Historical Society, street names and marijuana legislation.

The City Council will review an ordinance that would incorporate the Newcastle Historical Society into the city’s operations as an official standing committee. A public comment period is included with this agenda item.

The Council will also discuss the possibility of changing the name of the Southeast 88th Street corridor to May Creek Park Drive, or something of that nature.

Finally, the Council will discuss the impacts of marijuana legalization in the city of Newcastle, with possible consideration of a potential marijuana moratorium.

View the full agenda here.