City hit with rash of car break-ins

August 25, 2015

NEW — 4 p.m. Aug. 25, 2015

The city of Newcastle experienced an influx in car break-ins this past week, according to an Aug. 25 e-alert from Newcastle Police Chief Melinda Irvine.

The thefts occurred at night at various apartment and condominium complexes. The thief entered the vehicles by prying doors or breaking windows.

Almost all of the items stolen from vehicles had been left in plain sight, Irvine said.

“Remember, your duffle bag of dirty gym clothes looks like a bag with potential valuables to someone with criminal intent,” she said. Read more

Newcastle Community DFCC Conversation questions and answers

June 4, 2015

Newcastle Community Conversation (DFCC) — Question 1 by newcastlenews

Read more

Notes from Newcastle — Drug-free group comes to Newcastle

June 4, 2015

A who’s who of the Newcastle community leadership gathered at City Hall for a very important discussion April 28.

Mayor Steve Buri, Newcastle Police Chief Melinda Irvine and Issaquah School District Superintendent Ron Thiele were among the attendees at a community conversation about teen drug abuse in the area.

The event represented the first step in the Issaquah Drug Free Community Coalition’s attempt to raise awareness of its mission and services in Newcastle. The coalition, acting under the umbrella of the Healthy Youth Initiative, has already held similar events in Issaquah and Sammamish.

The Drug Free Community Coalition’s purpose is to prevent and reduce youth alcohol, marijuana and prescription drug abuse within the Issaquah School District service area, which includes parts of Newcastle. 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

April blotter

April 30, 2015

Presidential detail

Police responded to a report of a suspicious person at the Newcastle Chase Bank, 6911 Coal Creek Parkway S.E., March 26. The Bellevue man, who appeared to be a transient with mental issues, police said, went into the bank and asked for coffee before going on a rant about how the bank had “raped” him in the past. Later, when police approached him at a Newcastle bus stop, he said he used to be the Bellevue Fire chief and that he knew former President George H.W. Bush.

Newcastle Police encountered the man again April 2, after a Metro bus driver called about an agitated passenger. The man claimed police gave him drugs, and added that he owned the FBI and worked for the CIA. Based on his statements and some made to the bus driver, police requested an ambulance for involuntary commitment. Read more

Letter to the editor

April 30, 2015

Dear Newcastle voters,

Thank you. It has been an honor and a privilege to represent you for two terms on the Newcastle City Council. I will not be seeking re-election in the upcoming election.

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. In the past eight years, we have made the necessary changes to the 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.

New perspectives and varied experiences on a council can make government better. I hope an open seat will encourage more people to run for office. My public service will continue as a trustee at Harborview Medical Center and on the UW Medicine/Valley Medical Center board. Read more

Notes from Newcastle

April 2, 2015

A plea to #hashtag it

Newcastle is suffering from an identity crisis.

No, I’m not talking about anything that the city is or isn’t doing. This crisis, it so happens, is simply out of City Hall’s control.

The problem would best be described as a “social media identity crisis.” Go ahead; search ‘Newcastle’ on Twitter. What do you see?

You’ll likely see a lot of tweets about Newcastle United FC, a soccer team in the English Premier League. Though the majority of Newcastle tweets are about the Magpies, they, incidentally, have nothing to do with our Newcastle. Read more

City Council approves controversial building buy

February 6, 2015

The Newcastle City Council officially authorized City Manager Rob Wyman to go ahead with the controversial purchase of a Coal Creek Utility District-owned building at the Jan. 20 regular meeting.

Under the terms of the agreement, the city will pay $250,000 for the 129th Avenue Southeast building appraised at about $750,000. In addition, the city will agree not to assume the utility for the next 10 years.

The purchase has been surrounded by controversy since the council first approved it in a 4-3 vote Sept. 16. Deputy Mayor John Drescher, Councilman Gordon Bisset and Councilman Rich Crispo voted against the deal then, and did it again Jan. 20.

Former and current council members alike have raised questions about the agreement’s legality, feasibility and the logic behind giving up the city’s right to take over the district for the next decade. Read more

Editorial — Building agreement doesn’t pass the test

February 6, 2015

The Newcastle City Council agreed to spend $250,000 on a building it could get for free.

Let us repeat that — $250,000 of taxpayer funds spent on a maintenance operations building that could be had for nothing, well, mostly nothing.

It doesn’t make much sense, does it?

But that’s what the council narrowly agreed to with the recent 4-3 approval of the purchase-sale agreement to acquire a Coal Creek Utility District-owned building.

Sure, on the surface, it looks like a good deal — “I only have to pay $250,000 for a $750,000 building? What a steal!” — but more and more, this agreement is starting to feel like an iceberg. It’s what’s underneath the water that you should be worried about. Read more

Notes from Newcastle

February 6, 2015

City Hall wants to come to you

In an effort to better communicate with its residents, the city of Newcastle is reaching out to you. Community activities liaison Wendy Kirchner wants to bring City Hall to its residents, through presentations and meet-and-greets.

Here’s Kirchner’s pitch on how the city can help you get better acquainted with the staff that run the place you call home:

Newcastle city staff would like to come to your neighborhood! Are you interested in meeting your neighbors, making your area safer and learning about city services?

We all want to live in a safe, connected community, and we are looking for opportunities to share information about city services, neighborhood safety and discuss issues of concern. Read more

Next Page »