Letters to the Editor

November 3, 2011

Support Gordon Bisset on Nov. 8

For four years (2002-2005), Gordon Bisset was an outstanding Newcastle City Councilman.

And fortunately for us, he will again be a Newcastle City Councilman on Nov. 8.

I urge Newcastle’s voters to support Gordon, as he is a man who really cares about the city.

As president of Hazelwood Community Association, his leadership spearheaded a neighborhood improvement at Donegal Park with the Gene Porter Memorial Barbecue.

As a concerned citizen, he regularly attends City Council and Parks Commission meetings, adding to his vast knowledge about how the city functions.

All of Gordon’s hard work and discerning expertise are what the city needs in these tough economic times.

Diane Lewis, vice chairwoman

Newcastle Parks Commission

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Letters to the editor

October 9, 2011

Wanted: compost bins

As another great summer in Newcastle winds down, we were talking about all of the events that the city held in the park this year.

We live downtown and had a blast on the Fourth of July — being able to walk down to see a great fireworks show was an unexpected perk of moving into the area. The series of Concerts in the Park that were held this year were also great — we love taking walks in the evening after work and running into some free music along the way was a delight.

Wanting to support local business, we purchased some grub from a few of the vendors. Most of the packaging that our food came with (cups, plates, silverware) was clearly marked as compostable. However, when we searched the appropriate compostable bin in which to toss our waste we could not find one. As a result, we were forced to throw our waste in the garbage.

It is a shame that compostable food bins were not set up for these events — think about how much space we could have saved at the landfill! We would just like to raise the issue of having compostable bins at city events and also advocate for home compostable service and pickup like in other local cities.

Justin Norman and Olyvia Velasquez


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Letters to the editor

September 2, 2011

Safety audit proves it’s safe to walk to school

Hazelwood Elementary School has been part of the Safe Routes to Schools grant to encourage and support “active commuting” on the part of school children and families.

The goals are to identify safe and unsafe areas for biking and walking, design safety improvements, educate students about safe walking and biking practices, and launch events to encourage children to walk and bike. Through new and improved systems that encourage more students to walk and bike, we can also help combat childhood obesity.

To date, we have completed a walking audit with the support of Feet First and more than 30 student and community volunteers, and taught all fourth- and fifth-graders bicycle safety with the support of Bicycle Alliance of Washington.

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Letters to the editor

August 5, 2011

Gordon Bisset is the right choice

I returned from California to the good news that Gordon Bisset is running for the Newcastle City Council. I had urged him to do so, and I support his election.

Gordon is a long-time neighbor, a capable and active member (currently president) of our Hazelwood Community Association, who has served with distinction on Newcastle’s Planning Commission and City Council.

He’s been deeply involved in Newcastle since its founding, and is one of those rare civic-minded folks who attend council meetings year after year, maintain a deep knowledge of city issues and frequently speak out — about a wider range of issues than most of us can manage.

Gordon gets things done: he helped the Hazelwood Community Association make Donegal Park a reality, and he’s led the successful effort to raise funds for a memorial barbecue in the park. And he’s a realist who understands budgets; who wants a lean, efficient government that sticks to basics.

Given Newcastle’s dire financial situation, his voice is needed on the council.

Garry Kampen


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Letters to the editor

July 1, 2011

Don’t let strip mall development replace pedestrian friendly downtown

In last month’s Newcastle News, City Councilwoman Carol Simpson announced her desire to be re-elected.

In that article, she expressed her concern that Newcastle was becoming too pedestrian oriented. Her solution to the problem is to modify the downtown plan and allow more drive-thru businesses, which, I believe, agrees with the goal of the current City Council.

So, if everything works for Ms. Simpson, we could be blessed with a drive-thru pharmacy on the corner where the fruit stand now sits. If you think this will improve the quality of our city, the city’s economics or your property values, relax, your interests are well represented.

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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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Letters to the editor

April 1, 2011

UPDATED — 4:45 p.m. April 1, 2011

Hit-and-run driver needs to admit wrong

My name is Vivian Bae and I have been a resident of the Newcastle/Cougar Mountain area since June 2001. I am writing to ask for your help and I will compensate you for your time.

I was involved in a hit-and-run collision on Tuesday, Feb. 22, on my way home from work. It happened during the beginning of a snowstorm and the snow had just started falling. As I was driving toward Bellevue on Newcastle Golf Club Road — past the YMCA — I came to a stop due to a car stopping in front of me.

While I was waiting for this car to start moving, an oncoming vehicle lost control and slid into me. Given the weather conditions, I didn’t think twice as the driver started to drive away.

I wrote down the license plate number, thinking that we would address the matter once the weather and road conditions improved. When I got home, I contacted the police to file a report. The officer advised me he would get in touch with the other party and try to give him/her the opportunity to resolve the issue without filing a report and I agreed.

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Letter to the editor:

February 4, 2011

Thank you to all who helped F.E.T.C.H. make a local dog park a reality

Lake Boren Park is centered in our community, our commons for community and recreational activities, a central hub linking our trails system to our community. A popular destination for many that walk our trails with dogs, Lake Boren Park has seen supervised dogs run off leash for decades. With off-leash activity growing, it has become evident that Newcastle should consider designating a central off-leash area. With the history and growing demand at this central location, an off-leash area at Lake Boren Park appears most logical.

Recently, the Parks Commission chose to restrict an off-leash area to the future sports park, ignoring the needs of many residents with a message to stop using trails and drive to a remote location completely disconnected from our trail system. A message that Newcastle families with children and dogs who wish to spend an afternoon in the park with their dog off leash must to go to a barren and isolated location without playground equipment, and fails to meet recreational needs for families with children. The choice is a retreat from the challenge to find a quality solution designed to enhance Lake Boren Park.

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Letter to the editor

January 7, 2011

City should worry about something other than parks

I have lived in this community for 15 years now, and it never ceases to amaze me that the most frequent chat is about city parks and now dog parks.

You would think there is nothing else ever going on around here by reading these similar letters every month. How about the city worries a bit more about the out-of-control development, and every tree and animal in this area being displaced in the rush for money to put in the city coffers?

This once-sleepy community is way overdeveloped and not so sleepy and country as it once was.

Wes Tipton


Letters to the editor

December 2, 2010

Thanks to everyone who made Newcastle Days a success

Hats off to the Newcastle City Council and myriad other volunteers who made this year’s Newcastle Days such a great event and resounding success!

The music on Saturday night was world-class, and brought  back such memories. It was wonderful to see so many neighbors and friends enjoying the music and socialization. A special thanks to John and Lisa Jensen, David Harris, Sandra Wixon, and Alan White and his band members for making this truly memorable evening.

Jean Butler


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