Eye surgeon charged in murder plot awaits trial

April 2, 2010

Newcastle man Michael Mockovak — who pleaded not guilty to two counts of criminal solicitation to commit first-degree murder — appeared in court Feb. 18 for a case setting hearing. Another case setting hearing has been scheduled for May 27. Read more

County Council takes steps to improve construction oversight

April 2, 2010

King County Council members took steps last week to increase oversight of major construction projects and accountability for government spending. Read more

Laughing all the way: Reflections on walking: It’s downhill all the way

April 2, 2010

Our home is at the top of Olympus, so like others of you in Newcastle who use your feet to keep fit, we know that every meaningful walk that we take will eventually lead to a thigh-burning trip back uphill.

And actually, the downhill can be harder on your knees than uphill. I know that to be true, because I recently skidded down Southeast 76th Street, AKA the Double Black Diamond Newcastle-to-Seahawk run. Read more

Newcastle Rotary Club disbands due to declining membership

April 2, 2010

The Newcastle Rotary Club disbanded after holding its final meeting in January. Read more

Coal Creek YMCA parking situation is improving

April 2, 2010

Parking at the Coal Creek YMCA has been a bit hectic in early 2010, but Director of Development Michele Petitti said the parking situation is improving.

She said the beginning of the year was busy because of New Year’s resolutions, and the morning and evening rushes are becoming quieter. Petitti also said staff members are now parking off-site, so the lot can accommodate more members at a given time.

YMCA members used to park on Newcastle Golf Club Road in front of the facility when the parking lot was full. Parking is now prohibited on most of the road in front of the facility. By Tim Pfarr

Members used to park their cars on the street when the parking lot was full, but now parking on most of the street is prohibited for safety reasons. There is now space on the street for about 10 cars.

The YMCA has 265 parking spaces with more than a dozen reserved spaces directly in front of the building for vehicles that get good gas mileage and produce low emissions. Members can visit Membership Services at the YMCA to find out if their vehicles qualify for the reserved spots.

The YMCA is approaching 4,000 members.

Marathoner runs 78 miles to raise awareness for Partners with Youth

April 2, 2010

Near the end of last year, Taku Kusakabe — director of community and program development at the Coal Creek YMCA — approached Newcastle resident and marathon runner Thomas Tan and asked if Tan would be interested in helping raise money for YMCA’s annual Partners with Youth Campaign.

The campaign is run independently at each YMCA and provides scholarships to children who otherwise could not afford to pay for tuition, childcare, camps and other types of activities. Funds raised go back to the communities from which they were donated.

Tan agreed to help, so he was assigned to the community outreach division of the Coal Creek branch’s campaign and he was given a fundraising goal of $5,000. Read more

Local woman named vice president of Northwest Ladies Golf Association

April 2, 2010

Newcastle resident Jane Simmons has been elected as 2010 vice president of the Northwest Ladies Golf Association, a Western Washington nonprofit organization that promotes regular golf play by women of all skill levels. Read more

City signs landscape maintenance contract

April 2, 2010

The City Council approved a contract with Northwest Landscape Services in a unanimous vote at its March 2 regular meeting. Read more

Church revitalizes its orchard, builds P-Patch

April 2, 2010

Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Factoria — which has numerous members from Newcastle — has an orchard on its property that has lain dormant for more than 10 years.

However, in March, a team from the church joined with the organization City Fruit, which works to help grow fruit in urban areas, to start the process of bringing it back to life. The church also converted part of its back lawn into a P-Patch.

P-Patches are community gardens divided into smaller, private portions. The church’s P-Patch is about 3,000 square feet; individuals can purchase 100 square feet of space for $50 per year and 200 square feet for $75 per year. These fees cover the church’s watering costs. Read more

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Go green for Earth Day at Lake Boren Park April 24

April 2, 2010

Learn about sustainability at the Earth Day celebration April 24 in Lake Boren Park.The event is from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., and the festivities will include 15 mini-seminars on green living that will cover topics such as the best green remodeling products and permeable paving.

The April 24 Earth Day celebration will include 15 seminars, including one led by the Newcastle Weed Warriors on noxious weeds. The Newcastle Weed Warriors include high school volunteers, from left, Jeff Hansen, James DeLappe, Patrick Zenka, Jacob Nestvold, John Stiller and Kent Coburn. Contributed

Also, more than two-dozen vendors — including Newcastle Weed Warriors, Puget Sound Energy and Friends of the Cedar River Watershed — will be on hand to provide tips for sustainable living.

Newcastle Chamber of Commerce board member John Jensen and Carmela Ramaglia, actress and owner of local Pilates studio Power Within Pilates, will emcee the event. Read more

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