Hazen spring sports teams look to playoffs

May 6, 2011

UPDATED — 4 p.m. May 6, 2011

The Hazen High School baseball team was crowned champion of the Seamount League May 4 after Kennedy Catholic High School defeated Lindbergh High School twice in a double header that day. Conversely, the boys soccer team is one win from the playoffs, as it needs a victory against Highline High School May 7 to advance to the postseason.



The baseball team finished its season in second place in the Seamount League with a 13-3 overall record and a 12-2 record in league play. Lindbergh sat atop the league prior to its final two games with a 12-2 overall record and an 11-1 record in league play.

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Man shot at Castle Creek Apartments

May 6, 2011

A man was shot in the leg at about 2 a.m. April 23 after asking a group of people making noise in the parking lot to be quiet, according to the King County Sheriff’s Office.

The man initially called to the group from his balcony at Castle Creek Apartments, 7000 132nd Place S.E., City Manager Rob Wyman wrote in an email to the City Council. An argument and a fight followed, leading to one member of the group to pull out a gun and fire several shots, hitting the resident once.

The resident — who is in his 40s — suffered only minor injuries and was transported to Overlake Hospital Medical Center in Bellevue.

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Newcastle cops hit the ground running for cancer research

May 6, 2011

UPDATED — 5 p.m. May 6, 2011

Newcastle cops don’t sit around eating doughnuts, and Police Chief Melinda Irvine and officer Steve Kajihiro can attest to that.

This spring, Irvine and Kajihiro teamed up with The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training to get in peak physical condition while raising money for cancer research.

Irvine — who completed two ironman triathlons and a half-ironman triathlon in the last three years — is mentoring athletes aspiring to compete in half-ironman triathlons this year. She is aiming to raise $4,000 this year to add to the more than $10,000 she raised training for the half-ironman triathlon.

Contributed Newcastle Police Chief Melinda Irvine runs in the Baker Lake 50K run in Baker Lake in October 2010.

As of Newcastle News’ deadline May 3, Irvine had raised $1,500.

Kajihiro — who competed in the Seattle Half Marathon in November 2010 and the Honolulu Marathon in December 2010 — is training to compete in the San Diego Rock ‘N’ Roll Marathon and the Seattle Rock ‘N’ Roll Half Marathon, both in June.

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Parks chair to run for City Council

May 6, 2011

Councilman Sonny Putter to retire

Parks Commission Chair Andrew Shelton announced in April that he will run for City Council this November in Position 4 — the position Councilman Sonny Putter occupies.

However, just before Shelton announced his intention to run, Putter announced he would retire at the end of the year, ending his 17-year stay on the council.

Shelton joins Deputy Mayor Steve Buri and Councilwoman Lisa Jensen on the November ballot. Buri and Jensen announced in March their intentions to seek re-election in positions 3 and 1, respectively. City Council positions are not divided geographically in the city.

Councilwoman Carol Simpson, who sits in Position 2, filed paperwork April 2 with the state Public Disclosure Commission, a precursor to running for election.

The deadline to file for election is June 10.

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City awards contracts to build 116th sidewalks

May 6, 2011

Renton firm Delta Excavating Inc. will build Newcastle’s sidewalks on 116th Avenue Southeast from Southeast 84th Street to Southeast 88th Street.

The City Council unanimously voted to award the contract to the firm, which presented the cheapest bid to the city for the project.

The firm will complete the work for $173,400. The city’s contract engineer estimated the cost of the project to be $310,000. Construction will start later this spring or this summer, interim Public Works Director Steve Roberge said. The project will take less than two months to complete.

The City Council reviewed three design concepts for the project in August 2010, and it chose an option that calls for concrete sidewalks, curbs, gutters, driveway ramps and pedestrian ramps compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The design also calls for enhancements to storm water drainage, minor landscape improvements, retaining walls and a 12- to 15-foot driving lane. It will not have a bike lane, but the wide driving lanes — one to four feet wider than most — will give some room to bikers.

The council also considered cheaper and more expensive design options.

Sidewalks are also to be built on 116th Avenue Southeast from Southeast 80th Street to Southeast 84th Street. The council has not yet approved the sidewalk design for that stretch of road.


Get ready for start of campaign season

May 6, 2011

If you’ve been thinking about taking on a bigger leadership role in Newcastle, it’s time to take the next step. Filing for candidates is June 6-10.

Newcastle City Council, school districts and the Coal Creek Utility District will hold elections this fall.

Many candidates are already filling out the needed paperwork with the state. Others have announced their intentions.

City Council incumbents Lisa Jensen, Carol Simpson and Steve Buri will seek re-election. Sonny Putter will opt out after serving 17 years; Parks Commission Chair Andrew Shelton has said he will seek Putter’s seat.

Council candidates must be registered voters at the time of filing and have one year of Newcastle residency. Those qualifications are the law, but candidates should also bring the willingness to devote hours every week to numerous meetings and study of the issues. An elected official’s most important attribute is the ability to listen and communicate.

The issues sure to be hot topics in City Council races this year include future city budgets, future development in the city limits and mitigation of seasonal flooding on Lake Boren. Park development and funding is sure to come up, and the relocation of City Hall will likely get rehashed.

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May 6, 2011

Veteran Newcastle councilman to retire in December

I am writing to announce that after 17 years of community service, I will not be running for re-election to the Newcastle City Council.

I am proud of how far our community has come. When we struggled to incorporate the city of Newcastle, the then-Chair of the King County Council echoed Gertrude Stein’s opinion of Oakland, saying “There is no there there.”

Since incorporation in 1994, we encouraged the location of the prominent Golf Club at Newcastle on the site of an old landfill. We provided incentives for the location of a full-service YMCA — now overflowing with active users — and an 11,000-square-foot King County library, now under construction.

We encouraged the funding and construction of two new elementary schools in the city. We leveraged Newcastle’s small capital resources over this period to construct major street, bicycle and pedestrian improvements, like the $55 million Coal Creek Parkway project and the $4 million Newcastle Transit Center.

All these amenities have attracted a highly diverse population of new residents and the construction of a large number of new, high-valued homes. Since incorporation, our population has grown by almost 50 percent to its current 10,300 residents.

Newcastle is now “on the map.” It has become a highly desirable place to live, all the while maintaining the green canopy of parks and open spaces that characterize our community. Newcastle residents feel a sense of place, a sense of belonging to a real community of neighbors. Now, when we tell people that we live in Newcastle, they often respond “Oh, you live in Newcastle,” with eyebrows raised in admiration.

I hope the future leaders of our community will safeguard this legacy and sustain our community’s vision into the future.

Sonny Putter

Newcastle City Council

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Newcastle Valley Medical Center could offer more services

May 6, 2011

Valley Medical Center — which has a clinic at 7203 129th Ave. S.E. in Newcastle — signed a letter of intent in January to form a strategic alliance with UW Medicine. The alliance would likely make UW Medicine resources readily available to Valley Medical Center patients.

UW Medicine operates Harborview Medical Center, the UW Medical Center, and numerous other hospitals and clinics across Western Washington. It is also an affiliate of the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance.

The two organizations are working out the details of the alliance this spring, and the alliance could take effect as soon as July, Valley Medical Center spokeswoman Kim Blakely said.

Dr. Jamie Park, director of Newcastle Primary Care and Valley Medical Center’s clinic network, said the alliance would make more specialists and specialized procedures — such as open-heart surgery — more readily available to Valley Medical Center patients.

“UW is pretty clearly the best fit for us,” Park said. “They have things that we need, and we have some things that they need.”

When it comes to scheduling appointments, the process would be much easier, and records could be relayed electronically.

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Molestation suspect faces July trial

May 6, 2011

A Newcastle dentist charged with child molestation will face trial in King County Superior Court beginning July 25.

If Gil Furman, who was charged in January with one count of second-degree child molestation and two counts of third-degree child molestation, is convicted on all counts, he will face a sentence between about four and a half years and 10 years in prison, according to the King County Prosecutor’s Office.

Furman allegedly molested a teenage girl for two and a half years beginning when the girl was 13 and ending when she was 15, according to charging documents.

Furman — who is married with children — was 35 when the alleged molestation began.

Furman was arrested and arraigned Jan. 25, and he pleaded not guilty. He was given conditional release and a no-contact order with the girl and minors. The no-contact order was modified March 31 to allow him to be in the presence of a minor if the minor knows of the charges against him and an adult is present.

The girl reported the situation to a school adviser in November, according to charging documents.

The alleged molestation occurred weekly, and Furman allegedly pushed the girl to a wall and kissed and groped her, sometimes under her clothes but over her underwear.

She said that happened more than 50 times, usually with others nearby but out of sight.


Police Blotter

May 6, 2011

Car theft

A man reported that his Subaru Impreza was stolen from the Coal Creek YMCA, 13750 Newcastle Golf Club Road, between 5:10 and 6:10 p.m. March 23. He reported that he had locked his vehicle and left his keys in an unlocked locker. When he returned, his keys and his car were gone.


Teen climbs bridge

Police responded to the corner of Coal Creek Parkway and Southeast May Valley Road, where a teenage boy was walking near the edge of the May Creek Bridge just before 1 p.m. March 25. Passing motorists called 911 because they thought the boy was going to jump. The boy was upbeat and told police he had been suspended from Hazen High School that day. He said he was not allowed to call for a ride from school and was told to walk home. He said he was bored, so he walked along the edge of the bridge on his way home.

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