Local chamber chorale launches Kickstarter campaign

May 7, 2013

NEW — 1:30 p.m. May 7, 2013

The Musica Sacra Chamber Chorale, directed by Newcastle resident Bob Ingalls, announced the launch of a Kickstarter campaign to fund the release of the group’s first holiday album.

The music will be taken primarily from digital recordings of their previous concerts. Most of the music is already completed, but it requires the touch of a production expert to bring the songs to their full potential, according to a press release.

The group hopes to raise $3,500 by May 24, and as of May 7, they were already more than halfway toward their goal, with $2,700 pledged.

Musica Sacra Chamber Chorale is a select choir with 16 core members formed to celebrate sacred music as well as serve as an avenue to benefit the people and environment around us. Read more

Liberty PTSA hosts electronics recycling drive

May 3, 2013

NEW — 1:20 p.m. May 3, 2013

Newcastle residents will have the opportunity to donate unwanted items at the Liberty High School PTSA electronics recycling drive from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 4 at Renton Technical College, 3000 N.E. 4th St., Renton.

The collection location will be in the upper parking lot of the school.

Accepted items include working and broken electronics, appliances, bicycles, motorcycles, cars, trucks, batteries, fitness equipment, medical equipment, lawnmowers and barbecues. Computers, laptops, printers, scanners and other computer parts are also accepted.

Volunteers will collect the items, and the Renton nonprofit 1 Green Planet will haul away the collections. Donating is free, but the Liberty PTSA appreciates monetary donations as well.

The general public is welcome and encouraged to use this event to properly dispose of their electronics.

Pets face challenges, too, as temperature climbs higher

May 3, 2013

NEW — 1:00 p.m. May 3, 2013

The Regional Animal Services of King County is offering pet owners simple tips to keep pets cool as the mercury surges to 80 degrees this weekend.

Because animals cannot sweat like humans and can overheat quickly, especially as the temperature rises above 70 degrees, remember to provide plenty of fresh, cool water to pets, and shade from the sun.

Owners should not leave pets inside a vehicle, especially on warm days.

In sunny weather, the temperature inside a car can quickly rise to 120 degrees or more, even with windows left slightly open. Animals left in a hot car, even for just a few minutes, can suffer from heat stroke, brain damage or death. Read more

Election will bring change to City Council makeup

May 2, 2013

The Newcastle City Council will have at least one new face in 2014.

Councilman Bill Erxleben announced that he will not file for re-election this spring, guaranteeing that there will be one open seat during November’s election. Two other sitting council members could be challenged as well.

“I believe that two terms is enough for any council member,” Erxleben wrote in a letter to the editor.

Erxleben was first appointed to the Newcastle City Council in 2002. He was elected to the council in 2003. After a few years away from local government, he was elected to the council again in 2009.

In addition to Erxleben, Mayor Rich Crispo and Councilman John Dulcich will see their current terms expire at the end of 2013. Both Crispo and Dulcich have announced plans to file for re-election. Read more

Mayor delivers state of the city address

May 2, 2013

Newcastle Mayor Rich Crispo assured residents that the city is in relatively good shape, with people clamoring to live in the quaint community, during his 2013 State of the City address.

“We are the most popular place on the Eastside right now to live,” he said. “You look around and you find houses for sale, there aren’t many.”

The speech, given before residents and the business community at the Newcastle Chamber of Commerce’s April 10 luncheon, addressed the city’s financial health, community events and the council’s new Community Activities Commission.

The city is in good financial shape, with a balanced operating fund and a healthy reserve fund, Crispo said. Newcastle will also spend about $3 million this year on capital projects, including sidewalks and road maintenance. Read more

City Council agrees gas tax should fund 520 bridge shortfall

May 2, 2013

The Newcastle City Council unanimously passed a resolution urging the state Legislature to increase the gas tax in order to cover the $1.4 billion shortfall for the project to replace the state Route 520 floating bridge.

The resolution, passed at the April 2 council meeting, offered an alternative to the proposed tolling of Interstate 90 as a means to finance the rest of the 520 bridge replacement.

“My mind is, we tell Judy Clibborn and the state Legislature to get on the stick and do what they should do, and pass a 10-cent gas tax and pay off the $1.4 billion that way and forget the tolling on I-90,” Councilman Bill Erxleben said.

The City Council passed the resolution, 6-0, with Deputy Mayor Lisa Jensen excused. Read more

Friends group hosts first book sale at Newcastle Library

May 2, 2013

By Christina Corrales-Toy Friends of the Newcastle Library President Julia Hunter arranges materials on the shelf of the library’s ongoing book sale. The Friends group will host its first large book sale in May.

By Christina Corrales-Toy
Friends of the Newcastle Library President Julia Hunter arranges materials on the shelf of the library’s ongoing book sale. The Friends group will host its first large book sale in May.

The reading habits of people across the world have changed dramatically in the past decade.

More people are staring at the screen of an ebook reader, rather than a page from a book as they read their favorite novel. Read more

Newcastle Historical Society patriarch turns 95

May 2, 2013

By Christina Corrales-Toy Newcastle historian Milt Swanson cuts into a piece of carrot cake at a celebration of his 95th birthday during the Newcastle Historical Society's April 4 meeting at City Hall.

By Christina Corrales-Toy
Newcastle historian Milt Swanson cuts into a piece of carrot cake at a celebration of his 95th birthday during the Newcastle Historical Society’s April 4 meeting at City Hall.

No one knows more about the history of Newcastle than Milt Swanson.

That’s because he lived it. He watched as the trains weaved in and out through the city; he worked in the mines as his father and grandfather did before him; and he understands how the coal mining industry shaped the city into what it is today. Read more

Council approves purchase of maintenance equipment, before state grant expires

May 2, 2013

With just a few months before a state Department of Ecology grant expires, the Newcastle City Council authorized the Public Works Department to use the funds to purchase a $100,000 piece of equipment that will benefit the city’s storm water management.

The trailer-mounted hydro-excavator will be used for quick response to spills and storm pipe cleaning, though Public Works Director Mark Rigos admitted he was not sure how often the city would use it.

“Honestly, I look at this as kind of a nice-to-have, not a requirement,” he said. “I do have some concerns on how much, honestly, we’re going to use this equipment. If this was solely coming out of Newcastle coffers, I would not bring this to you.” Read more

City secures sponsor for Fourth of July event

May 2, 2013

Traffic, safety concerns still need to be addressed

The city of Newcastle’s Fourth of July fireworks celebration will go on as planned, despite initial funding concerns and worries about public safety.

Mayor Rich Crispo brought the discussion of city events to the council’s April 16 meeting to seek input about the feasibility of the Fourth of July event.

Crispo’s main concern was public safety after last year’s event attracted between 3,500 and 5,000 people.

“It was wall-to-wall people,” he said. “There was no place to put a blanket, a chair, anything … We had two policemen there. They weren’t really enough. There weren’t enough facilities there for people to use. The lines out of the bathroom were long. In my opinion, there were safety issues.” Read more

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