2014 was a year of change for Newcastle

January 2, 2015

In 2014, the city of Newcastle celebrated a birthday, lost an icon and set the stage for the future. Here are some of the top stories of the year, in no particular order:

Newcastle pioneer Milt Swanson passes away

Family, neighbors and community leaders gathered Jan. 25 to honor the life of Milt Swanson, a titan of Newcastle history and a man with an unceasing, warming smile.

The Newcastle pioneer, born and raised in this community, spent all of his 95 years in the same area, 90 of which were in the same company house that still stands at the edge of town near the Cougar Mountain trailhead. Read more

Newport Woods community concerned about proposed development

December 4, 2014

Newcastle resident Rick Bell is questioning his commitment to the city of Newcastle for the first time.

The longtime Newport Woods resident is an active community member, who donates much of his free time cleaning up city parks and trails with the Weed Warriors organization. He poured thousands of dollars into remodeling his Newcastle home, rather than buying a new one, because, as he puts it, “We love the people and the quietness of the location.”

But a proposed multifamily, mixed-use development along Newcastle Way, just beside City Hall, has him and his neighbors wondering how much longer the city will remain the quaint Newcastle they fell in love with.

“We’re not against development,” he said. “But we never thought it would be a monster like this.”

Read more

December letters

December 4, 2014

Educate yourself about Energize Eastside Program

As a resident and a physician, I am very concerned about Puget Sound Energy’s Energize Eastside Program.

What started as a far-sighted request to upgrade an aging infrastructure and plan for future growth has been hijacked into an oversized project that benefits a foreign-owned private corporation (PSE) as it prepares to divest in 2017.

Local needs have been expanded into a crisis, and we Eastside residents are being asked to pay for a vastly oversized project that seems more suited to transferring power between Canada and California than meeting our expected growth.

The Coalition of Eastside Neighbors for Sensible Energy has enlisted the talents of Eastside residents, including electrical engineers and people who have worked in the power industry, and have unearthed documents, data and have subsequently proposed an alternative solution. This can all be viewed at its website, cense.org. Read more

Newport Woods community concerned about proposed development

November 11, 2014

NEW — 2 p.m. Nov. 11, 2014

Newcastle resident Rick Bell is questioning his commitment to the city of Newcastle for the first time.

The longtime Newport Woods resident is an active community member, who donates much of his free time cleaning up city parks and trails with the Weed Warriors organization. He poured thousands of dollars into remodeling his Newcastle home, rather than buying a new one, because, as he puts it, “We love the people and the quietness of the location.”

But a proposed multifamily, mixed-use development along Newcastle Way, just beside City Hall, has him and his neighbors wondering how much longer the city will remain the quaint Newcastle they fell in love with.

“We’re not against development,” he said. “But we never thought it would be a monster like this.”

Read more

Newcastle City Council roundup — July 15

July 16, 2014

NEW — 2 p.m. July 16, 2014

The Newcastle City Council held its second meeting of the month July 15. Here is the Cliffs Notes version of what happened at City Hall. View the full meeting agenda online here.

Energize Eastside

For the second straight meeting, the Newcastle City Council had a full audience, as neighbors gathered to hear another presentation about Puget Sound Energy’s Energize Eastside project.

This time, the citizen group Coalition of Eastside Neighborhoods for Sensible Energy (CENSE) had the chance to offer its own presentation about the project. Read more