Coal Miner’s Cemetery — Part 2

July 2, 2015

Last month, I introduced the miner’s cemetery on 129th Avenue Southeast with a promise to remember some of those interred there.

John McKnight is a well-known name in the area, and the Renton School District even named a middle school after him. His father, also John McKnight, was an important man in the Newcastle coal mining era and is buried in our cemetery.

BackTrackingJohn McKnight, the father, had served in the Civil War and came west after the conflict looking for opportunity. He was very interested in the birth of our nation and wrote and delivered a speech commemorating Independence Day in 1875.

Read more

Notes from Newcastle

March 5, 2015

A ‘shout out’ to local volunteers

The city of Newcastle honored a group Feb. 26 that far too often goes unnoticed — volunteers.

Each year, volunteers devote countless hours to city events. It is volunteers that help plan summer activities, care and advocate for the city’s vast trail network and protect Newcastle’s history.

About 50 volunteers and summer event sponsor representatives gathered at The Golf Club at Newcastle Feb. 26, where they were treated to snacks, an orchestra and a personal thank you from Newcastle Mayor Steve Buri and City Manager Rob Wyman.

Volunteerism is a big part of what makes Newcastle one of the best small cities in the country. So, here’s a special shout out to some of the groups and people that willingly offer their time to better the city: Read more

Newcastle teen hailed as ‘future of flight’

August 29, 2014

Jordan Fletcher

Jordan Fletcher

In the June 2014 issue of Alaska Airlines magazine, the company’s vice president of human resources wrote that she has seen the future of flight, and it is indeed very bright.

Tammy Young was talking specifically about 14-year-old Jordan Fletcher, a smart, deep-thinking Newcastle teenager with his eyes perpetually toward the skies.

Jordan already has his future aviation career planned out, and he hasn’t even entered high school. It begins with a specialized education at the prestigious Raisbeck Aviation High School, followed by a stint in the Air Force Academy. Read more

Nominations coming in for 2014 Diamond Awards

July 31, 2014

For the second year in a row, the Newcastle Chamber of Commerce’s Diamond Awards will be an elegant evening affair, hosted at The Golf Club at Newcastle.

Nominations are already coming in for the Nov. 20 ceremony that honors Newcastle’s top community members. Get to know some of the nominees below, and be sure to cast your nominations at Read more

Rotary club honors student of the month

April 3, 2014

Christina Ta, a senior at Hazen High School, was selected as a Renton Rotary Club Youth of the Month for February.

She maintains a 3.94 grade point average, and is involved in Associated Student Body office, DECA, National Honor Society and drill team.

Christina Ta

Christina Ta

Ta has been named an Advanced Placement Scholar and an Academic All Star, and has received scholar athlete honors, a certificate of participation for drill state championships and a varsity letter in drill.

Read more

March is music month for Renton Schools

March 12, 2014

NEW — 9 a.m. March 12, 2014

By Christina Corrales-Toy Members of the Hazen High School jazz band perform during a practice last year.

By Christina Corrales-Toy
Members of the Hazen High School jazz band perform during a practice last year.

The Friends of Renton Schools are on a mission to raise $10,000 for Renton School District music programs in the month of March. The goal is to strengthen music programs in the district and make those programs accessible to as many students as possible. Read more

Newcastle Historical Society hosts guest speaker at July 11 meeting

July 10, 2013

NEW — 3:55 p.m. July 10, 2013

The Newcastle Historical Society will host Marilyn Clise at its July 11 meeting.

Clise’s bloodlines are steeped with Newcastle history. Her great-grandfather came to Newcastle in 1870 and went on to serve in the second legislature of the state of Washington.

His son, and Clise’s grandfather, John Henry, was born in Newcastle and went on to become the Renton pioneer that inspired McKnight Middle School’s name.

Clise is expected speak for about 30 minutes.

The Newcastle Historical Society will meet at 4:30 p.m. at City Hall, 12835 Newcastle Way, No. 200. Learn more at

New school planning begins right now

May 3, 2012

It’s official: Newcastle will soon be home to the newest school in the Renton School District.

And while voters may have given their stamp of approval to financing a new middle school in the April 17 election, the work to bring the project to fruition is just beginning.

Early projections from the district have doors opening at the school in 2016. With the project in its infant planning phases, it’s never too early for parents, community members and city leaders to give valuable input on the project.

District spokesman Randy Matheson said there will be ample opportunity for community input as the project progresses. We hope the residents of Newcastle will answer the call and be involved and dedicated to a school that will have lasting implications for those neighborhoods for decades to come.

With some public concern for the necessity of the school construction bond (the measure failed Feb. 14 and barely passed April 17), the district and its core of education advocates should do everything it can to keep the residents abreast of the middle school’s financial impact, encourage public involvement in the planning process and maintain a steady construction schedule.

As a district that has been recognized for outstanding financial management and reporting from the Association of School Business Officials International and the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada for the past eight years, residents have legitimately high expectations for this project to be completed on budget.

Read more

Student represents McKnight at spelling bee

April 5, 2012

After winning McKnight Middle School’s annual Scripps Spelling Bee Competition, eighth-grader Arnelie D. Cruz had the opportunity to represent the school in front of an audience of nearly 400 people at the King/Snohomish Regional Spelling Bee on March 25 at Town Hall Seattle.

More than 50 middle school students competed at the event. The winner of the statewide contest, 13-year-old Mercer Island resident Kela Harrington,  will go to Washington, D.C., to compete in the nationally televised event.

McKnight’s event was spearheaded by seventh-grade language arts teacher David Black.

Renton School Board opts to rerun middle school building improvement bond

March 2, 2012

NEW — 11:50 a.m. March 1, 2012

The Renton School Board voted Feb. 29 to rerun a $97 million building improvement bond that would fund a new middle school in Newcastle, among other projects.

The bond, which originally came up two points shy of the 60 percent needed to pass in the Feb. 14 special election, will run again April 17.

Citizens for Renton Schools Chair John Galluzzo said a major setback to gathering enough support for the bond the first time was giving residents a clear picture of what the bond would mean to them financially.

The election was about 335 votes short of the ballots needed to approve the bond, he said.

Read more

Next Page »