Think globally, act locally at Newcastle Earth Day

April 2, 2015

Newcastle Earth Day Chairwoman Grace Stiller has one simple request for this year’s event — rain, please stay away.

A year after the wet stuff put a damper on the 2014 event, Stiller said she is hoping for sunshine when the festival returns to Lake Boren Park on April 18.

“All we need is a really nice day, no rain,” she said. “Last year, it dumped buckets. It was terrible.”

The city of Newcastle and the Newcastle Weed Warriors, with funding from the King Conservation District, will provide speakers, seminars and activities for Earth Day 2015 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 18. Read more

Newcastle’s history shaped King County as we know it

January 2, 2015

In 1853, the area around current-day Newcastle was heavily forested with 10-foot diameter trees, a multitude of streams, and many gorges and valleys. It was also home to wildlife including cougars, bears, raccoons, bobcats and deer.

In that year, a couple of explorers found something that would change that landscape forever — chunks of coal along a creek (later to be named Coal Creek).

The first coal wasn’t mined until 10 years later, but when it began, it was in earnest. In the 100 years between 1863 and 1963, the Newcastle coal mines produced 10.5 million tons of coal.

The coal was of good quality, and the proximity to Seattle made it an important commodity. In 1870, Seattle had only 1,107 residents, but because coal was being shipped to San Francisco and the growth of the port, that number grew to 42,837 by 1890, only 20 years later. Read more

Black bear hit on Interstate 405

July 1, 2011

NEW — 10:35 a.m. July 1, 2011

A small black bear was hit sometime overnight between June 30 and July 1 on Interstate 405 near Newcastle, according to the Washington State Patrol.

A motorist called in around 2 a.m. to report an animal carcass on the freeway, said Julie Startup, a spokeswoman for the patrol.

Troopers responded and found the dead bear, which Startup said had been hit hard and was in pieces. They moved it off the freeway and notified wildlife officials, she said.

Bears spotted near Newcastle Elementary School March 15

March 15, 2011

NEW — 4:30 p.m. March 15, 2011

Several people reported bear sightings near Newcastle Elementary School Tuesday.

“Please remember that bear sightings are not uncommon around Newcastle Elementary School,” school administrators wrote in an e-mail to parents after the sightings. “Bears have typically been spotted in or around the gully north of the school.

“This is the time of year that bears are waking up and foraging for food, so please use caution if you happen to come across one.”

If you see a bear and are concerned, call King County Animal Control at 206-296-7387.