To the Editor — September 2015

September 2, 2015

NEW — 4:48 p.m. Sept. 2, 2015

Reject the proposed School Woods plan

I am writing this to express my opposition to the proposed plan for the School Woods.  Beyond the loss of trails, the increased residential and “cut-through” traffic through two established neighborhoods, and the violation of existing wetlands, it is a shame to have lost a potential open space and park area.

This is especially true in a city having the least park land of any in the area  (4.7 acres of park acreage per 1,000 residents in Newcastle, compared to Renton’s 12.7 acres and Bellevue’s 21.2).

Further, the proposed development shows a complete lack of imagination and respect for the land. The site plan as it stands is in the perfect image of California practice:  Flatten for building pad, drop, flatten for building pad, drop again, flatten for building pad, drop again, etc., extending over the entire site. This is a forced, high-density housing development that shows little or no sympathy and respect for existing neighborhood ambiance. Read more

Energize Eastside, traffic calming, dominate town hall

July 2, 2015

Speed bumps and power lines were the hot topics of conversation at the city of Newcastle’s annual town hall meeting June 16.

By Christina Corrales-Toy Deputy Mayor John Drescher (right) answers an audience question, as City Councilman Rich Crispo listens beside him.

By Christina Corrales-Toy
Deputy Mayor John Drescher (right) answers an audience question, as City Councilman Rich Crispo listens beside him.

During the meeting’s second hour, the Newcastle City Council fielded audience questions, with a sizable group of neighbors from in and around Southeast 75th Street using the time to express concerns about speeding on the street. Read more

Candidate filings set up one City Council race

June 4, 2015

The 2015 general election ballot will tell a different story, but there’s really only one contested Newcastle City Council race.

Community Activities commissioners Linda Newing and Victoria Sandoval will face off for council Position No. 1, currently held by Councilwoman Lisa Jensen, who announced she would not file for re-election.

But only Planning Commissioner Allen Dauterman will actively run for Position No. 3, despite the fact that Rob Lemmon’s name will appear alongside his.

Lemmon, a former planning commissioner who resigned in December, said “logistical issues” prevented a successful attempt to withdraw his name from the race. He filed to withdraw before King County Elections’ deadline, though, he said. Read more

City Council election starts to take shape

April 30, 2015

The Newcastle City Council will have at least one new face in 2016.

City Councilwoman Lisa Jensen announced April 23 that she will not file for re-election this spring, guaranteeing that there will be one open seat during November’s election. Three other council members could be challenged as well.

“I first ran for office because the city budget was out of control and a majority on the council had lost touch with the people they represented,” Jensen wrote in a letter to the editor.

“In the last eight years we have made the necessary changes to budget in a way that allows us to live within our means. We also have a city manager and staff that make customer service a priority and recognize everyone at City Hall is there to serve the community.” Read more

Editorial — Get ready for elections

April 30, 2015

If you’ve been thinking about taking on an important leadership role within the city of Newcastle, the time has come to take the next step. Candidates must file for election by May 15.

The terms for four Newcastle City Council positions are set to expire at the end of the year — council position No. 1 (Lisa Jensen), council position No. 2 (Carol Simpson), council position No. 3 (Steve Buri) and council position No. 4 (Gordon Bisset).

Simpson and Bisset already announced they would file for re-election, while Jensen said she will not and Buri is still undecided.

Meanwhile, Newcastle Community Activities commissioners Linda Newing and Victoria Sandoval and as well as Planning Commissioner Allen Dauterman announced they will run for a City Council spot. Read more

Our 2015 goals for a better Newcastle

January 2, 2015

As the city heads into the coming year, Newcastle continues to grow and flourish. Here are a few of our goals for the city in 2015.

Look to the future — The city has enjoyed a few years of financial stability, but looking at future forecasts, challenges are ahead as development revenues begin to disappear. Begin the discussion now, not later, to make decisions that will ensure the city’s financial future isn’t seeing red.

Keep an eye on Energize Eastside — Puget Sound Energy’s Community Advisory Group just selected its recommended routes, and both include proposed electric transmission lines through Newcastle. The company’s Energize Eastside process, aimed at upgrading power lines to fulfill the growing demand, is far from over, though. Make your voice heard and participate in the coming Environmental Impact Statement process and any other avenues offered to share your concerns. Read more

City looks to add youth voice

October 3, 2014

Newcastle teen leads charge to get peers involved in city government

The Newcastle City Council explored the possibility of adding a youth voice to its government structure at its Sept. 16 regular meeting.

The discussion comes after Newcastle teen James Ricks approached Mayor Steve Buri about the feasibility of creating a youth advisory board to the council.

“I want youth to care about Newcastle,” Ricks said. “Whether that’s evident in service projects, involvement in planning activities or tutoring, I want youth to be involved because they care about the city they live in.” Read more

America the beautiful

July 31, 2014

Eastside residents become U.S. citizens at Newcastle Library

By Greg Farrar Immigrants from around the world, who passed citizenship tests and renounced allegiances to the countries of their birth, take the oath of allegiance from officials of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services July 23 during a naturalization ceremony at the Newcastle Library.

By Greg Farrar
Immigrants from around the world, who passed citizenship tests and renounced allegiances to the countries of their birth, take the oath of allegiance from officials of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services July 23 during a naturalization ceremony at the Newcastle Library.

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

Notes from Newcastle

May 1, 2014

For once, I’m not the only one at meeting

I’m used to being the only one at Newcastle City Council meetings.

I sit there, alone, as the council conducts its business in front of an audience of one.

Christina Corrales-Toy

Christina Corrales-Toy

It can get lonely, I’ll admit, watching council members deliberate as I sit surrounded by a sea of empty chairs.

Read more

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