City sponsors food drive to benefit Hopelink

October 30, 2012

NEW — 2:15 p.m. Oct. 30, 2012

Community members are invited to join city staff in participating in a food drive to benefit Hopelink, a local nonprofit organization that serves homeless and low-income families, children, seniors and people with disabilities.

Hopelink’s mission is to promote self-sufficiency for all community members.

The city will collect nonperishable food donations between Oct. 30 and Nov. 9.

Food can be dropped off in bins located just outside City Hall elevators.

City Hall’s address is 12835 Newcastle Way, Suite 200

Reminder: Annual town hall meeting is Oct. 29

October 24, 2012

NEW — 1:15 p.m. Oct. 24, 2012

The city of Newcastle will host its annual town hall meeting from 7-9 p.m. Oct. 29 at The Golf Club at Newcastle.

The meeting will include a question and answer session using electronic voting devices.

Residents will be able to provide feedback to city staff and City Council members about issues facing the city for the next year, including the city’s budget.

Other topics of discussion will include the city’s financial future, an overview of current and future development in the city and information about community safety, crime prevention and policing.

The event is free and open to the public. Complimentary non-alcoholic refreshments and snacks are provided, and no-host beverages are also available.

Learn more by calling the city at 649-4444.

Meet candidates for the director of community development position

October 16, 2012

NEW — 10:50 a.m. Oct. 16, 2012

The city of Newcastle will introduce the three candidates for the open director of community development position at a meet and greet on Oct. 24.

The city will provide hors d’oeuvres and refreshments and Sweet Decadence will also be open to serve beverages.

The event will take place from 5-6:30 p.m. in the main lobby of the Newcastle Professional Center, located on the first floor.

The position became available after former director Steve Roberge left in early September. City Manager Rob Wyman has assumed the position’s duties since then.

The Newcastle Professional Center is located at 12835 Newcastle Way.

Contact Sarah Jacobs at or 649-4444, ext. 114, to learn more.

City to conduct public hearing about 2013 budget

October 12, 2012

NEW — 10:50 a.m. Oct. 12, 2012

The Newcastle City Council will host the first of three public hearings about the proposed 2013 budget at its regular council meeting on Oct. 16.

Community members are invited to voice their approval or disapproval for the budget.

Citizens that are unable to attend the public hearing can submit their comments to Finance Director Christine Olson at, before 4 p.m. on Oct. 16.

The meeting begins at 7 p.m. Oct. 16 in the City Council Chambers in City Hall.

City Hall’s address is 12835 Newcastle Way, Suite 200.

House fire causes more than $500,000 in damage

October 8, 2012

NEW — 9:25 p.m. Oct. 8, 2012

A residential fire in Newcastle destroyed a home, and damaged an adjacent property, on the afternoon of Oct. 6. The homes are located in the 8300 block of 128th Avenue Southeast.

Firefighters were called to the scene after a neighbor reported smoke and flames coming from the roof of the first house.

Personnel from Eastside Fire & Rescue and the Bellevue, Renton and Mercer Island fire departments arrived to heavy flames and smoke coming from the roof and the back of the house, said Lt. Troy Donlin, Bellevue Fire Department spokesman. Read more

Council discusses potential of annexation

October 4, 2012

Most council members feel  the discussion is ‘premature’

The Newcastle City Council decided against taking any exploratory action toward a possible annexation by Bellevue, at least for now, at its Sept. 4 meeting.

In a discussion that lasted more than an hour, the City Council debated whether the issue of annexation was even appropriate to discuss at the current time.

The prevailing sentiment among the council members was that the discussion was premature.

Councilman Bill Erxleben, who made the initial motion to get the discussion on the agenda, started the conversation by arguing that it was important to explore whether annexation by Bellevue was a viable option, given Newcastle’s financial forecast based on numbers from the council’s June budget retreat.

Read more

Pay cut narrowly passes for future council members

October 4, 2012

Current members of the Newcastle City Council will take a pay cut, should they decide to run again after their terms expire, according to an ordinance the council passed at its Sept. 18 meeting.

The ordinance, which passed with a 4-3 vote, will lower councilmember salaries from $700 a month to $500 a month. The mayor’s position will also be reduced from $800 a month to $600 a month.

Under state law, salaries of municipal officers cannot be increased or decreased during an election or during a term of office, so the change will not become effective until the expiration of current councilmembers’ terms.

Councilmen Bill Erxleben, Gordon Bisset, Steve Buri and Mayor Rich Crispo voted in favor of the salary decrease, while Councilwoman Carol Simpson, Councilman John Dulcich and Deputy Mayor Lisa Jensen voted against the ordinance.

Crispo argued that while the council asks city staff members to make sacrifices in terms of merit pay and other considerations, it was important for the council to make sacrifices as well.

“I do believe it’s important to set the message from the top,” he said. “I mean, you can’t ask people that are reporting to you to do something different than you’re willing to do yourself.”

Read more

Newcastle Library will open in December after significant delays

October 4, 2012

The Newcastle Library will officially open Dec. 8 with a full day of activities planned to celebrate the occasion, according to a representative from the King County Library System.

Festivities are expected to begin at 9:30 a.m. the day of the opening, but more details will be available as the date approaches.

Progress on the project picked up significantly after the contractor experienced a multitude of setbacks, according to Greg Smith, the director of Facilities Management Services for KCLS.

“The contractor’s been plagued with lots of problems on this job, lots of delays,” Smith said.

In December and January, the contractor had to scramble after the curtain wall subcontractor, the company who provided the glass for the library, went out of business, Smith said. It caused a significant setback that delayed delivery of the glass.

As of Sept. 19, KCLS said the building was more than 90 percent enclosed, and Smith added that nearly all of the glass was installed.

In addition, workers began installing tile work in the library bathrooms.

Read more

Test your Newcastle history knowledge

October 4, 2012

At this year’s Newcastle Days, the city’s rich history was celebrated with the festival’s theme, Return to Newcastle. One of the components of this year’s celebration was a trivia activity put together by Mayor Rich Crispo.

Crispo compiled a list of 120 questions that highlighted the history of Newcastle. Each vendor booth had a question, and prizes were awarded for correct answers at the end of the day.

Below, we’ve printed 16 of the questions, which bring forth interesting facts about the history of the Newcastle community.

Crispo compiled the list of questions through information taken from “The Coals of Newcastle — A Hundred Years of Hidden History,” by Richard and Lucile McDonald.

Think you know your city’s history? Test yourself.


Q: How much coal was removed from the Newcastle coal mines between 1863 and 1963? 

A: About 10.5 million tons of coal was removed during the 100-year period.

Read more

Fire causes $300,000 in damage to Newcastle home

October 4, 2012

The Bellevue Fire Department and Eastside Fire & Rescue crews responded to a house fire in the 14300 block of Southeast 77th Street at about 10 a.m. Sept. 14, according to Lt. Troy Donlin, Bellevue Fire Department spokesman.

Donlin said landscapers in the area found smoke and flames on the side of the house, called 911, and seven minutes later, crews arrived on the scene to find smoke and flames coming from the attic of the two-story house.

There was no one inside at the time, Donlin said; the homeowners arrived about 25 minutes into the incident.

Contributed by the Bellevue Fire Department
Smoke and flames billow from the roof of a Newcastle home in the 14300 block of Southeast 77th Street, after a house fire broke out Sept. 13.

Donlin described the fire as “stubborn” because of the cedar roof shingles. It took firefighters about 53 minutes to contain the fire.

“It was a stubborn fire because it’s a cedar shake home,” he said. “So, we had a lot of little individual spot fires throughout the roof.”

On the scene, there was visible damage to the roof, and Donlin said the second story was damaged from water and ceiling material as a result of firefighting activities.

In addition to the water the firefighters aimed at the house, the home also had an indoor sprinkler system that went off, Donlin said.

Read more

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