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Liberty student spearheads letter campaign to service members Page 9

Hazen wrestlers flatten Lindbergh Page 17

January 6, 2012 VOL. 14, NO. 1

Creating a sense of community After 17 years, longtime Newcastle resident Sonny Putter steps down from City Council By Christina Lords

Welcome aboard New City Council member Gordon Bisset is sworn in. Page 2

Expensive cleanup Stormwater pollutant cleanup costs city $4,500. Page 6

Police blotter Pages 10-11

Fabulous five Liberty singers are chosen for All-State Choir. Page 14

You should know Good to Go! Passes are available at Safeway, 6940 Coal Creek Parkway S.E., and QFC, 6911 Coal Creek Parkway S.E., in Newcastle. Go to goodtogo/retail to find other locations.

As you flip through the pages of longtime Newcastle City Councilman Sonny Putter’s date book, you start to notice a trend. For the month of October, nearly every date is bursting with small writing filling each box. In November, appointments for various committees, councils and commissions overtake the page. December is similarly booked. January, however, tells a different story. After 17 years on the council and subsequent service on various other local and regional committees, Putter is stepping down from the position. “I made the decision that I could no longer be as affective as


See PUTTER, Page 6

By John Jensen

Sonny Putter, longtime Newcastle city councilman, cuts into a cake celebrating his 17 consecutive years of service at his last City Council meeting Dec. 6.

Council passes 2012’s $5.8 million budget By Christina Lords After a six-month process from its July budget retreat to final adoption, the Newcastle City Council voted to unanimously pass its 2012 budget Dec. 6. But many members of the council said they won’t start patting themselves on the back anytime soon.

“I still encourage the Finance Committee and council to look to the long-term solution of how we’re going to be a viable city,” Councilwoman Carol Simpson said. “This was a good Band-Aid again … I still think we still have a lot of work cut out for ourselves in the next four years to put ourselves on track.” The budget includes funding

for several projects at Lake Boren Park and maintains the parks manager position held by Michael Holly, who faced an uncertain future after the council directed city staff to suggest positions and/or services that could be reduced. “It’s a good budget. It’s a responsible budget,” Deputy Mayor Steve Buri said. “We have done an awful lot of cutting

over the last three years, and I think most of the residents are pleased that those cuts have come without serious reductions in service.” The city’s projected revenue for 2012 sits at about $5.8 million — an increase of about $147,700 from the preliminary budget released in October. See BUDGET, Page 5

Newcastle residents’ tips lead to burglary arrests By Christina Lords

Contact us: 392-6434, ext. 239

I had been in the past on the current City Council,” Putter said. “It’s unfortunate, and I don’t have any acrimony or animosity toward my other colleagues … but it was time to leave.” What he will focus on now hasn’t been determined yet, he said. “I’ve made it a point of basically keeping my options open about what I’m going to do in the future,” Putter said. “I have no firm plans. It’s possible but probably unlikely I’d run for another public office, but again I’m keeping my options open.” Putter began public service work in the nonprofit sector more than 30 years ago for various charity boards and commit-

Newcastle Police Officer Ryan Olmsted arrested two suspects at about 2 p.m. Dec. 8 in connection with recent burglaries reported in Bellevue, Newcastle, Renton and unincorporated King County. Newcastle Police Chief Melinda Irvine said two other suspects fled the scene, but one

was later arrested after a King County deputy located the suspect. The fourth suspect remains at large, Irvine said. Two Newcastle residents provided tips, including the suspects’ license plate number, to the Newcastle Police Department via its anonymous email and nonemergency phone lines that lead to the arrests,

Irvine said. The group had burglarized homes in the area and had broken into at least one residence just prior to being arrested, Irvine said. The number of burglaries the group may be responsible for is still under investigation, and charges against the suspects for at least one burglary are expected in early January, she said.

“Formal charges have not been filed yet,” she said. “Several agencies are compiling all of their cases on this group and will refer them to a single prosecutor who handles highimpact burglars.” Some items that were recovered may have been taken in Renton burglaries. The Renton See ARRESTS, Page 5


Newcastle News

Suspicious activity reported by residents

New chamber board members announced

Men seek access to homes by claiming they work nearby CenturyLink employees working in the Newcastle area were briefly pulled from the streets until they could go through the process to receive proper doorto-door sales permits after residents reported two men acting suspiciously in the areas of Southeast 75th and Southeast 76th streets and 120th and 121st avenues Southeast on Dec. 12. Newcastle Police Chief Melinda Irvine said in a statement that residents reported two males approached Newcastle homes saying they were CenturyLink employees or contractors making contact about pipe work being done in the area and they needed to enter the homes. The males could not offer an explanation as to why they needed to be in the home, stood away from the house rather than at a conversational distance and did not carry any brochures, Irvine said.

Officers were unable to locate the males, and there were no door-to-door sales permits issued by the city at the time. Residents reported their behavior as inconsistent with typical legitimate door-to-door salespeople. The first of the suspicious persons is described as a black male, about 5 feet, 8 inches tall with a medium build and short hair. The second person is described as a black male that is about 5 feet, 6 inches tall with a slight build who was clean-shaven. If contacted by these subjects or anyone of concern, residents should ask to see a city of Newcastle Door-to-Door Sales Identification Badge. The employees should wear the identification so it is easily seen. Meg Andrews, a spokeswoman for CenturyLink, said CenturyLink works with another company to hire door-to-door sales people but, at any time, a resident can ask for the sales person to present specific items to ensure that he or she is an authorized representative. Andrews said the sales person should be wearing CenturyLink branded clothing, have CenturyLink branded materials for the products or services he or she is selling, have a CenturyLink branded employee badge and have a copy of all necessary business licenses for the area in which he or she is soliciting. If they do not have a door-todoor sales permit, refer the employees to Newcastle City Hall at 649-4444. A resident who thinks a person is not a legitimate salesperson contacting them at home should call the city’s nonemergency dispatch line at 206-296-3311.

Valley Medical Center manager Christina Mason, Waste Management public sector manager Katie Salinas and Fortescue Financial Services financial planner Steve Fortescue are new Newcastle Chamber of Commerce board members for the 2012-14 term. They will be made official board members at the chamber’s first board meeting in 2012. Provide feedback by going to the chamber’s website at and click the “Board of Directors” link under the “About the Chamber” tab to contact members of the board.

State Route 520 bridge tolls could divert traffic As the state Department of Transportation plans to start tolls on the state Route 520 bridge, motorists could experience additional traffic on Interstate 90 as commuters avoid the toll. The state estimates tolls should cause thousands of motorists to use the Interstate 90 bridges or drive around Lake Washington instead. Meanwhile, the state is encouraging motorists to set up a Good To Go! pass account. Purchase a pass at or a $5 sticker pass at participating stores, including Safeway and QFC. Find a list of retail locations at goodtogo/retail. The state extended call center hours and hired extra customer service staffers to prepare for the anticipated high volumes of customers registering and activating accounts. Customers can purchase the sticker passes at stores and activate them

JANUARY 6, 2012

By Christina Lords

Welcome aboard Newly elected Newcastle City Councilman Gordon Bisset (right) is sworn into office by Municipal Judge Wayne Stewart at the council’s meeting Jan. 3. Rich Crispo (center) was elected mayor at the meeting, while Lisa Jensen (not pictured) was elected deputy mayor of the city. online. “Tolling is helping Washington move forward with critical transportation investments and will finance ongoing and future work to replace the vulnerable SR 520 floating bridge and corridor,” state Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond said in a statement.

Coal Creek Utility District appoints manager The Coal Creek Utility District’s Board of Commissioners has appointed Robert Russell to serve as the district’s new general manager. Russell was named interim general manager at the board’s Dec. 14 meeting and he took the position Jan. 1. He has worked for the district since 1995 and served as operations manager for four years after working as CCUD’s systems administrator.

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With more than 28 years in the water and sewer industry, Russell is also a member of the American Water Works Association. He holds a Water Distribution Manager Level 3, a Water Distribution Specialist Level 2 and a Cross Connection Specialist Level 1 certification with the Washington State Department of Health. He is the district’s representative for the Sno-King Water District Coalition and a member of the Technology Interest Group and Retrospective Rating Program for the Washington Association of Water and Sewer Districts. CCUD operates a water and sewer service area covering the city of Newcastle and surrounding areas.

City to honor volunteers at event The city of Newcastle will recognize people who have donated their time and service in various projects and events over the past year at a volunteer appreciation event at 6 p.m. Jan. 25 in the City Hall Council Chambers. Those recognized will include Grace Stiller for her work to coordinate Newcastle Days; Angela Wingate for her work to garner support from local businesses for Newcastle Days; and the city’s Public Works Department for its work coordinating events and projects throughout the year. The event is free and open to the public and includes treats and a gift for volunteers. Call Parks Program Manager Michael Holly at 649-4444, ext. 142, or email him at for more information.

Newcastle News

JANUARY 6, 2012


Residential designer hopes to bring new perspective to Planning Commission By Christina Corrales-Toy Residential designer Jon W. Simpson is the newest member of the city of Newcastle’s Planning Commission. Simpson was selected Jon Simpson from a pool of five applicants to the commission that acts as an advisory board to the City Council. The commission offers recommendations on the city’s comprehensive plan, development codes and other land-use issues. The new commissioner hopes his experience as a residential designer will bring a unique perspective to the board made up of seven members. “What I’ve seen missing from the city government is the perspective from that industry and profession, and it shouldn’t be,” Simpson said. “There should be more people like myself, who have the knowledge and the experience, getting involved.” Simpson’s background is in design and construction. He owns his own residential design firm and has designed homes all over the region. “Design has been a passion of mine since I was a child,” Simpson said. “Some are artistically oriented and some are mechanically oriented. I grew up drawing house plans before I ever even understood how to draw a house plan. It’s just what I did since I was a child.” Working in the construction and design industry, Simpson is quite familiar with the paperwork that comes with planning and land development. “I’m very familiar with the impact of codes and regulations and feel that the commission is a great place for me to venture into involvement with my city government, by applying what I had known from the other side of the permit counter,” he said. Simpson has lived in Newcastle since before it was officially incorporated as a city in 1994. He relishes the opportunity to help foster the continued growth of the town that he’s seen mature before his very eyes. “I remember back when the intersection in Newcastle was horse pastures, cows and a flashing yellow light on Coal Creek Parkway, and not much else,” he said. “It’s been interesting to see how it’s grown and changed over the years. I hope to be an active and positive par-

ticipant to the direction of this city, the direction of the commission and the future of our community here.” From Simpson’s perspective, one of the biggest development issues facing the city is the need for more economic opportunities in Newcastle. “It’s important to create economic opportunities for continued development in a struggling economy by reducing the amount of regulations such that good stewardship is retained but greater opportunity is achieved, and the outcome of that is a win-win,” he said. Simpson stressed the importance of finding ways to make Newcastle more accessible for potential developers. “I’m not out to start pushing for deregulation, if that’s what’s necessary, but I am interested in looking at the low-hanging fruit — the easy things that can be accomplished that incentivize developers to come into the city of Newcastle versus going to Renton, Bellevue or Issaquah, in such a way that they’re building a product here and generating that economic opportunity in our community versus some other community,” he said. One of the first issues that Simpson hopes to tackle involves finding ways to allow

for development on vacant spaces in the community. “I would say to open up and consider some exemptions or modifications to the regulations that deal with infill development within our existing communities,” he said, adding that “it can provide that enhanced economic stream for the city budget, (which) would be important.” Mayor John Dulcich stressed that any of the five applicants would have made valuable contributions to the commission, but he is excited about Simpson’s appointment. “He’s going to be a great addition to the commission,” Dulcich said. The mayor added that Simpson’s expertise as a designer brings a different voice to the board. “Each person that we appoint to the commission has a unique talent or brings something different to the table. That’s why we have such a great commission,” Dulcich said. “What Jon had that we hadn’t had in front of the commission, is someone that is a residential home designer. So, he brings a unique perspective.” For Simpson’s part, he’s excited to get started and make a difference in his community. “I think it’s going to be a

very fulfilling and exciting chapter in my life and career at this point,” Simpson said. “I’m looking forward to it and I know some people might scratch their heads at that saying, ‘It’s the mundane, inane jot and title of code language. How can anyone be excited about reading the definitions of zoning and that sort of thing?’ But I do it, because that’s been so much a part of my life.” Christina Corrales-Toy is a student in the University of Washington Department of Communication News Laboratory.

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Obituary Lois N. Conkling Farrell Lois, loving wife, mother, sister, auntie and Grammy, passed away Nov. 2, 2011, after a courageous battle with bone cancer. Lois was born Oct. 16, 1936, and raised in Lake City, graduating from Lincoln High School. Lois is survived by Darvel, her loving husband of 55 years; daughters Nadine (Roger) and Noele (Mark); seven grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. There was a celebration of Lois’ life Nov. 14 at Highlands Community Church. Benevolences may be sent to Overlake and Swedish Issaquah Hospitals’ Oncology Departments.



Letters to the editor


❑ The city must do all it can to facilitate the redevelopment of Mutual Materials’ brick plant site, a major change with potential opportunity for Newcastle’s future. ❑ The Newcastle library will open this summer, with a lot of opportunities for public involvement through classes, book clubs, book sales, homework helpers and more. It could very well become the city's de-facto community center. Let the celebration begin! ❑ Continue to encourage business development in Newcastle's downtown along the lines of recently revised requirements that are more development friendly. Now is also a good time to look at sign codes, fees and customer service. Also work with the chamber of commerce and landlords to identify businesses that would add to the mix in Newcastle and reach out to them to fill vacant storefronts. ❑ Create a city Celebrations Committee to plan both Newcastle Days and other new city traditions and events. It need not be a commission with paid staff involvement, although any plans must be coordinated with City Hall. ❑ Seek a long-term budget fix that will get revenue on pace with expenditures in the next five years. Many projections show the city could be in real trouble if this isn't addressed. ❑ Fund projects that enable connectivity and mobility via sidewalks and trail systems. Residents have repeatedly said that this is important! ❑ Continue to pursue a ZIP code for the city of Newcastle. ❑ Continue working with the Renton School District to implement the Safe Routes to School program, primarily near Hazelwood Elementary School. The continued exchange could lead to grant money for sidewalk improvements and is a great way to get kids active and walking to school. ❑ School leaders and citizens should set aside their opposition to cutting the school year by four days, provided the total hours of class time remains the same. It offers a good way to save precious education dollars. ❑ Voters need to be committed to learning all of the pluses and minuses of school construction bonds coming before voters in February and April. For Renton, it means a new junior high school in Newcastle. Issaquah’s bond includes improvements to Liberty High, Maywood Middle and Newcastle Elementary schools. But is the time right?

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Hats off to Newcastle volunteers

Re: Hazen orchestra students share their passion for music

Our 2012 goals for Newcastle

Newcastle news

JANUARY 6, 2012

The article illustrates that instrumental music programs teach kids valuable lessons about hard work and dedication. Clearly, the students profiled are great kids that have benefited tremendously from both playing and teaching music. They all appear to have bright futures ahead of them in college and beyond ... and it all started in the instrumental music program at Hazelwood Elementary School. Unfortunately, the article misses a key point in its conclusion. There are no "future cherubs hoping to follow in their footsteps at Hazelwood." That opportunity no longer exists. The Renton School District cancelled instrumental music education in elementary schools three years ago. Pity. Kelly Paletta Newcastle

Rapid Response

Thanks to the many volunteers helping out this year in both the planning and production of the various projects and events that occurred in Newcastle during 2011. This past year was packed full of terrific events and valuable projects making Newcastle the livable small community it has become. Some volunteers worked during several events or projects, and many more volunteered whatever time they could give from a few hours to several days. A special thanks to Grace Stiller, from the Newcastle Weed Warriors, who graciously stepped in to encourage, solicit and coordinate volunteers for Newcastle Days; and to Angela Wingate, from the Newcastle Chamber of Commerce, who personally visited or called on local businesses to support Newcastle Days with sponsorships or donations. Last but not least, thanks to the entire city of Newcastle Public Works Department staff, who put in a lot of extra hours to produce the city’s events and projects this year. Michael Holly, parks program manager Newcastle

avoid the toll. We both are prepared by already having our Good-to-Go already installed. — Dave Martinez

What is your New Year’s resolution for 2012? I don’t make resolutions. I “create” a vision for my new year. Different energy! — Jackie Foskett Nothing. Resolutions imply life is not good enough right now. If I were to conform to that question, I suppose I would state, focus on the now. — Dave Martinez

Will the state Route 520 bridge tolling affect your commute? Why/why not? Generally take the Interstate 90 bridge across; hardly ever use the 520 bridge. — Jackie Foskett No. We don’t travel to Seattle often and if we do, we’ll avoid the toll by using I-90 and allow extra time for others doing the same. — Trina Sooy My wife may be affected as she works in the University District. I take I-90 WEB in so I may see an increase of flow due to drivers wanting to

Poll question As the Parks Commission works to update Newcastle’s Comprehensive Plan, what are some of the ways you’d like to see the city’s recreation and parks space improve? A. Maintain and build new trails that provide

There are upcoming improvement bonds for the Renton School District (Feb. 14) and the Issaquah School District (April 17). Will you support the bond in your district? Yes … the population is increasing in our surrounding cities, and we need to have good schools to take on the kids and families who moved into our neighborhood. — Jesse Tam Yes. It’s better to keep up than catch up. A middle school in Newcastle would help. Our son hiked across May Creek gorge when he missed the bus! — Peggy Price Absolutely! The Renton bond will help pay for a new middle school in our community, which will be in safe walking distance for my kids to attend. It will also get rid of the eyesore that is Renton Academy. — Trina Sooy easy access and mobility to the city B. Improve existing park space, such as playground equipment, fitness courses or shelter areas, and look for opportunities for additional open space C. Provide recreational opportunities, such as children’s and adult sports teams or other classes D. Facilitate events that are open to the public, such as concerts or festivals Vote at

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Newcastle News

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Budget From Page 1 Some of that increase includes money from the council’s Nov. 15 decision to cover the city’s anticipated $61,000 shortfall between revenue and expenditures for 2012 in part by taking an allowable 1 percent increase in property tax. Residents can expect the city’s portion of their property taxes to increase an additional $11 next year for a $516,000 home — the typical home price in Newcastle as assessed by King

Arrests From Page 1 Police Department is handling the suspects and associated investigation from the arrests. A woman from the group would reportedly knock on the door of a home and if someone answered, she would ask if they wanted to donate to a charity, Irvine said. The group was reportedly looking for homes that appeared to be unoccupied. If you were a victim of a burglary and have not yet reported it, call 206-296-3311. If you think this group contacted you at your house Dec. 8 or you have any other information that may assist in the investigation, call the Newcastle Police Department at City Hall at 649-4444. If you observe suspicious activity, call 911 to have an officer respond.

County. Aside from the property tax increase, the city anticipates an increase of about $85,000 in development revenue after new information was made available to the city about projects that are expected to take place during 2012. A handful of general fund expenditures were reduced after the council voted to reduce City Manager Rob Wyman’s contingency money that acts as a cushion for unexpected expenses by $10,000 and voted to reduce the city’s communication funding by $5,800. The council debated funding

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a parks project to install a maintenance garage at Lake Boren Park for the city’s Parks Department that would enable employees to have a place to store tools and equipment and provide a place to work on city vehicles during inclement weather. Wyman said employees have been in situations in the past where they have had to park under a local bank’s overhang to do repairs out of the weather. The maintenance facility project is budgeted for $150,000. Simpson, who made a motion to remove the project from the budget until the city can deter-

PAGE 5 mine if it would be more cost effective to contract park maintenance work through an outside agency or to maintain city of Newcastle employees for the work, said more time is needed to seek alternatives. “It’s a capital need that exists today, and it’s existed for years,” Wyman said. “The guys, through all winter and not to mention the rain, do all the repairs outside. They have no place to park a vehicle and do repairs in a place that’s not only warm, but in a place where it’s not snowing or raining on top of them.” The council also reduced a

“We have done an awful lot of cutting over the last three years, and I think most of the residents are pleased that those cuts have come without serious reductions in service.” — Steve Buri Newcastle deputy mayor

proposed project totaling $75,000 for a covered stage at Lake Boren Park to $50,000. “It encourages staff to be costconscious,” Buri said. “I know they already are, but it probably could be done for less.”

Newcastle News


JANUARY 6, 2012

Stormwater pollutant cleanup costs city $4,500 By Christina Lords A five-gallon bucket of latexbased paint recently dumped by a member of the public into a Newcastle catch basin has city engineers ramping up public education to get out the message regarding dangers — and costs — associated with stormwater pollutants. The illegal dumping, known as an illicit discharge, resulted in about 5,500 gallons of wastewater that could not be treated by a local sanitary sewer system. While it is suspected the paint was released into one catch basin, 11 catch basins and 52 feet of open ditch lines had to be inspected during the process to ensure proper water quality. The white water was discovered by a city crew in a drainage ditch on the corner of 129th Avenue Southeast and Southeast 73rd Place.

Putter From Page 1 tees. He became involved with Newcastle after he moved here in 1991 and learned of efforts for incorporation for the town. At the time, what is now the city was still considered unincorporated King County — a situation that had its limitations in the eyes of Putter and others vying for the formation of a city. Simply, incorporation enabled residents to tell their friends where they lived, he said, but more importantly, it gave neighbors the ability to create a sense of community and allowed for measures of local control over land-use issues. Mayor John Dulcich thanked Putter for his service and his

After a nearly four-hour, $4,500 cleanup process paid by taxpayer dollars, the polluted water was shipped to the Bravo Environmental treatment facility in Oregon for proper disposal. “We do have a program in place, and our crews are trained to respond to these situations in a professional manner,” said Laura Frolich, a surface water engineer for the city. “We do preventative work … and it takes an educated public to be aware of these things.” She said no long-term damage occurred because of the incident, but residents need to remain aware of the legal, financial and environmental consequences of dumping chemicals and other materials into stormwater. While Frolich said the city is pursing enforcement action against those suspected of the incident to recoup expenses, more can be done to inform resi-

dents of Newcastle and contractors working in the area about the harm of dumping chemicals or other materials into stormwater. If a resident or contractor is caught making an illicit discharge, they face fines, cleanup costs and disposal fees, she said. The city plans to send out an informational brochure about stormwater pollutants and other stormwater-related topics in the coming months. This spring, the city will join a regional campaign to reduce stormwater pollution by installing educational decals that say, “Puget Sound Starts Here” and “This drains to a creek and then to Puget Sound,” on all public open grates, catch basins and storm drains. Storm sewer systems collect urban runoff, or rainwater, and convey it through pipes, ditches, detention ponds and water quality facilities, which eventually

release the water directly into rivers and creeks. The surface water drainage system is designed to filter out sediments and heavy metals, but any added pollutants are difficult to capture, degrade water quality and can have irreversible negative impacts to ecosystems, Frolich said. There are two levels of pollutants the city aims to prevent from entering the water stream, she said. The city’s priority pollutants — which can cause the most damage to water quality and a healthy habitat — include ammonia, automotive products, bleach, degreaser or solvents, fertilizers, pesticides, oil, gasoline and sewage. The second level includes food waste, soap, silt, sediment, pool water, yard waste, rust, trash, animal carcasses or any other kind of debris. “We really do encourage anyone that may have seen anything to report anything that

looks unusual,” Frolich said. “All ditches, swales and conveyance systems should only have rainwater in them.” The city’s illicit discharge detection and elimination program has three steps: prevent illicit discharges through education and community outreach; locate discharges through inspections and screenings; and correct the behavior of those who make illicit discharges through enforcement of municipal codes. The city also inspects storm sewer lines with video techniques, Frolich said. Call the city’s spill hotline at 649-4444, ext.137, if you witness a spill or notice water pollution. Residents can also call the Washington Emergency Management Division at 1-800258-5990 toll free or the National Response Center at 1-800-4248802 toll free if they spot or experience an illicit discharge.

efforts to incorporate the city. “Lots of times, people use City Council positions to move on to take their political career to the next level, but with being here 17 years, I think Sonny’s mindset was to take the community to the next level,” he said. “While we don’t always agree on things, I admire and respect his effort and dedication to the city of Newcastle.” In 1994, Putter was elected to a 20-month term on the interim City Council. He was re-elected for four more consecutive terms. “Since I was one of the people who became heavily involved in persuading my neighbors to form the new city, I felt this sense of responsibility to actually make it work,” he said. The formation and incorporation of Newcastle was not without its challenges, including how to make the city financially

sustainable for the long term. “The first challenge was, and it still is an ongoing issue for our city, that we had limited sources of revenue,” he said. “One of the fortunate outcomes, though, of incorporation was that in controlling local land use, we were able to help guide the development of the undeveloped portions of Newcastle.” Development fees, sales tax on new construction and additional property taxes added by new construction were significant sources of revenue for the town in its fledgling stages. “When we started out, we were a bunch of unrelated subdivisions in unincorporated King County,” he said. “Our challenge was to put into place the mechanisms where people would begin to feel part of a community and connect people with one another.”

Building institutions residents could rally around and connect with, such as supporting the school bond responsible for financing Newcastle Elementary School and encouraging the placement of a King County Library in town, gives neighbors reasons to build relationships and to get to know one another, he said. As a member of the Newcastle City Council, Putter also had the opportunity to serve on several other local and regional committees, including the Suburban Cities Association’s Public Issues Committee and the Regional Transit Committee. Those kinds of positions allow for regional exposure for Newcastle’s issues, making the town’s needs — such as the $55 million overhaul of Coal Creek Parkway — visible and relevant to other local leaders and communities. “It was very important to me to recognize that Newcastle alone did not have the resources to be able to do the kinds of things we needed to do,” he said. “The only way we could successfully achieve the outcomes we wanted to achieve … was by being engaged with other council people in bodies where people would learn of the need in Newcastle equivalent to the needs of other communities.”

In recognition of his regional and local service, King County Executive Dow Constantine proclaimed Dec. 1 Sonny Putter Day. But despite the city’s growth and the council’s accomplishment in the past 17 years, Putter said he did have some disappointments. Changes in the city’s plans for the development of a pedestrian-friendly, higher-density downtown that could create a financial stability for Newcastle through commerce and a strong customer base for businesses have been a letdown for the councilman, Putter said. “My single major disappointment is that for the last four years, many of the plans that we put in place for Newcastle are being reversed,” he said. More patience is needed to let established plans do their job for developers interested in starting businesses in Newcastle, he said. He said he hopes residents and future leaders of Newcastle will continue to sustain the community in a fashion that preserves the quality of life established since incorporation. “The key is I am grateful to have the opportunity to be of service,” Putter said. “The message I got from my service as a council member is that it isn’t what you get out of life that’s important, it’s what you put in.”

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Laughing all the way

A Creature of the Sun


wenty years ago, people thought that “El Niño” or “La Niña” were competing brands of bean dip or the companion ships to the Santa Maria, but in this weather-savvy world that we live in today, we know that El Niño (literal translation: “The Boy”) and La Niña (literal translation: “No Sunshine for Five Months”) are weather disruptions. I am a creature of the sun, so I am mightily affected by the lack of it. I’m not a sun-tanner or worshiper, but I do naturally rise in the morning at the earliest hint of light, and I find the need to climb into bed as the sun fades, which means that in December I'm in bed around 3:55 p.m. To help me through these dark times, I bought a 10,000

Lux S.A.D light. “S.A.D.” stands for “Seasonal Affective Disorder,” which means that if you don’t get enough brightness in your Pat Detmer day, you may do things like snap at your better half even if his nickname is “The Sainted One.” I bought this box years ago, pre-digital age, and it's the size of a suitcase. I saw a new one recently on a friend’s desk, and it was the size of a ham sandwich and looked like it was designed by Apple™. Based on the size of my light alone, I should be ecstatic. I prop it up in front of me while I read the paper in the

morning. Newsprint is pretty much transparent in front of a 10,000 Lux light, so I can read both the front and back of the page at the same time. When The Sainted One comes downstairs for breakfast, he staggers backwards, throws up his arms to shield his eyes and wonders aloud if any planes have been cleared for landing. In spite of my light box, I still find myself S.A.D. now and again. I’ve decided that this is due to the fact that there’s an especially virulent strain in the Northwest, one so powerful that you could rig a boson’s chair and hang in front of the lights at CenturyLink Field for 24 hours and it still wouldn't cheer you up. I help myself survive this malady by celebrating the Winter Solstice, planning some trips to Palm Springs and making sacrifices to the Sun Gods. I’m in the market for a fatted calf. Anybody? Maybe craigslist. You can reach Pat Detmer — who may snap at you but never bites — at

Taking down pancreatic cancer Hazen wrestling coach organizes fundraiser in memory of his father By Christina Lords In 2011, an estimated 44,030 people were diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in the United States, according to the American Cancer Society. Approximately 37,660 died from the disease. Pancreatic cancer has the lowest relative survival rate of all of the cancers tracked by both the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute. About 94 percent of patients with the disease will die within five years of diagnosis, while 74 percent of people living with the disease will die within the first year of diagnosis. But to Hazen High School wrestling coach Rory Magana, the statistics aren’t just a set of numbers. They’re his family’s reality. After being diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer with metastasis to his liver on Oct. 11, 2010, Magana’s father Rodney died from the disease eight months later on June 18. Magana hopes to share his father’s story to increase awareness about pancreatic cancer through Take Down Pancreatic Cancer, a special event at an upcoming Hazen wrestling match at 5 p.m. Jan. 13 at Hazen High School. “People know about Patrick

Swayze and Steve Jobs dying from this, and that’s about it,” he said. “People just don’t know about it. That’s why I’m doing this, because that’s just not enough.” All donations collected at the event will benefit the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, a nationwide nonprofit organization that aims to advance research and support patients facing the disease. The event will feature an information table and guest speakers from the Puget Sound chapter of the action network. Wrestlers from Hazen, Highline, Chief Sealth and Oak Harbor high schools will compete.

JANUARY 6, 2012

If you go ❑ 5 p.m. Jan. 13 ❑ Hazen High School ❑ 101 Hoquiam Ave. N.E., Renton ❑

Participation from Oak Harbor, where Magana graduated from, wrestled for and coached at, is particularly meaningful, he said. “The coaches had been there to support my father and my family during his fight,” he said. “I am very grateful to have them involved in this event.” Magana said while the event might start out small this year, he hopes it will become an

Newcastle Chamber of Commerce Networking, Cross-Promotion, Advertising If you’re interested in growing your business & supporting Newcastle join the Chamber!


January Luncheon Speaker Randy Matheson January 11, 2012 • 11:00 - 12:15 Tapatio’s Mexican Grill Luncheon Cost: $20 Please RSVP via email to: All are welcome, members & non-members

Membership • News & Updates • Upcoming Events • 206.719.8122 •

annual tournament to bring more attention to the affects of pancreatic cancer, including creating more funding for research for the disease and awareness of its symptoms. Because pancreatic cancer is one of the few cancers where the survival rate has not improved substantially in the past 40 years and few treatment options are available, Magana said more work needs to be done to bring the disease to the forefront. He said he hopes the more people know about the disease,

the more research funding it will receive — major inspiration for his first event. The National Cancer Institute spent an estimated $96.7 million on pancreatic cancer research in 2010 — just 2 percent of its approximate $5 billion annual cancer research budget that year. If residents can’t attend the event but would still like to make a donation, Magana said residents can donate to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network on its website at

Newcastle News

JANUARY 6, 2012


Annual meeting set for Newcastle Trails

The write stuff Liberty High School junior spearheads letter campaign for soldiers overseas By Tom Corrigan Liberty High School junior Stacey Hurwitz, 16, has no relatives serving in the military. Still, she noticed some things regarding United States soldiers that bothered her. She saw news stories about high unemployment rates among former soldiers. She read a story about high suicide rates among military personnel over the holidays. In the end, she wanted to something about what she saw and heard. “I decided I could probably do something to help them,” Stacey said, adding she became determined to do something more personal than donate money. “She’s a humble girl but she’s definitely a go-getter,” mom Barbra Hurwitz said. Eventually, Stacey hit on the idea of gathering letters for troops overseas. In the end, she sent approximately 400 missives to soldiers stationed in a rural area of Afghanistan. The letters were delivered — or will be — by a national organization known as Operation Stars and Stripes. As of mid-December, the letters were still in transit, but judging from the rough timeline Stacey Hurwitz. gave, they should have reached U.S. troops just before or just after

Christmas. In gathering up her letters, Stacey’s first step was to get hold of various email lists belonging to friends and family, Barbra said. Because the family is an East Coast transplant, letters came from as far away as New York, Rhode Island and Florida. “It spread out across the country,” Barbra said of her daughter’s efforts. Actually, the effort went international when a letter was supplied by someone in Germany. Stacey also approached the Liberty Associated Student Body, for which she serves as communications director. She further went to the school’s Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps. “Everyone was really supportive,” Stacey said. “People wrote about how much the soldiers mean to them … that they are heroes.” Stacey herself wrote five of what she called “pretty long” letters. She said she thanked the soldiers for their service, and for protecting freedom, and she wished them all a safe homecoming. Besides the ASB, probably predictably, Stacey is involved in plenty of other volunteer efforts. She does work at Newcastle Elementary School, where she went to school as a youngster and Barbra talked about her daughter helping coach a soccer league for the developmentally challenged. Barbra couldn’t remember exactly which birthday, but when Stacey was turning 11 or 12, she asked that her family donate to a local animal shelter instead of buying presents for her. Barbra added that Stacey came up with the letter campaign entirely on her own, that

Newcastle Trails will host a summary of past and planned activities, elect officers as well as hold an open discussion between the group and residents at the group’s annual public meeting at 7 p.m. Jan. 30 at Fire Station No. 9 on Newcastle Way. Snacks will be served at 6:30 p.m. Robert Foxworthy, King County Trails coordinator, will be the guest speaker. Members of the Newcastle City Council, city staff and representatives of neighboring cities, agencies and clubs will be introduced. Handouts at the meeting will include trail guides and maps.

Ask the

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Liberty High School student Stacey Hurwitz poses with a few of the letters she gathered to send to members of the United States military stationed overseas. it wasn’t connected to any sort of school activity. “This was kind of a new category I wanted to try and I felt it was important,” Stacey said. “She had a nice vision and she carried it through,” Barbra said.

Worship Directory

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What can an agent do for you? As your local State Farm agent, I’m a qualified professional whose focus is to provide products and services to my policyholders consistent with the State Farm mission: Help people manage the risks of everyday life, recover from the unexpected and realize their dreams. Here are some valuable services I can provide to make things a little easier for you. Whatever your insurance needs – auto, home, life or health – I have the tools to help you select a plan that works for you. I can provide valuable information about insurance, the risks that make it necessary and how to protect yourself from those risks and get the most for your premium dollar. State Farm also has a variety of information about frozen pipes, weather safety, disaster preparedness, quality building techniques, auto safety and many other topics that can make life a little easier. In some instances, you can be paid on the spot for many small claims involving damage to your vehicle, home or other property. All you do is present the bill to my office. All your State Farm premiums can be combined into one convenient monthly payment, just like you budget other purchases. Or at your request, payments can be automatically deducted from your checking account. You can reach State Farm 24 hours a day by calling the office. After regular business hours, you’ll be routed to our Customer Response Center where representatives are ready to assist you with your questions. Stop by my office or visit for more information on products and services offered by State Farm Insurance.

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Newcastle News


Police blotter No! You say sorry! A police officer was dispatched Nov. 17 to the area of Southeast 86th Street and 139th Avenue Southeast when a man reported he was pushed after he tailgated another Newcastle resident’s car. He said he realized he was tailgating the vehicle so he slowed down but while at a stop sign, the reporting party got out of his car to ask the other driver which way he was going to turn, at which point the other driver got out of his car and pushed him. After the reporting party followed the other driver home, the officer determined the reporting party was the aggressor in the incident. The other driver did not want to speak to the reporting party or offer an apology.

Car break-in A passenger window was broken out of a Hyundai Tiburon on Nov. 17 and an iPod valued at $100 was stolen during a car break-in in the 6900 block of 115th Place Southeast. About $300 worth of damage was reported.

JANUARY 6, 2012

Holiday Greetings

Drawing by Marco Vazquez, 4th grade, Hazelwood Elementary Drawing by Alexis Friedman, Hazelwood Elementary

Locatd at Sunset & Duvall 4613 NE Sunset Blvd., Renton, WA 98056 (Alberston’s Shopping Center)

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Electronics stolen A residential burglary was reported Nov. 17 in the 12100 block of Southeast 73rd Place. A bedroom window was broken out and several items totaling more than $1,300 were taken, including a digital camera, a Playstation 3 and a Samsung HD TV.

Finders keepers A Bellevue man found a Titleist golf bag with assorted clubs, a ring and two watches Nov. 18 near the entrance of The Golf Club at Newcastle. He said he attempted to locate the owner by contacting the club, and brought the items to Newcastle City Hall to turn in. An officer was unable to locate the items as stolen or missing via an IRIS property search. The man requested to collect the items if the owner could not be located.

Drawing by Gabriel Robertson, 4th grade, Hazelwood Elementary

Drawing by Brody Whiteaker, 4th grade, Hazelwood Elementary Newcastle Branch 6917 Coal Creek Parkway SE Newcastle, WA 98059 425-644-3506

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Juvenile arrested Police contacted two juveniles Nov. 18 after they were walking by nearby businesses at QFC and trying to open doors to the facilities. One of the juveniles had a previous minor in possession/consumption warrant out of Issaquah for $600 and was arrested. While conducting an incidental search of the juvenile’s person, the officer found 9 grams of marijuana and paraphernalia. He was later booked into the Issaquah Jail.

Student arrested for knife, blowtorch An officer arrested a juvenile See BLOTTER, Page 11

Drawing by Shay Sanders, 4th Grade, Hazelwood Elementary

Drawing by Iris K., 4th grade, Hazelwood Elementary

Eugene Balogh, O.D.

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Newcastle News

JANUARY 6, 2012


Holiday Greetings

Blotter From Page 10 student Nov. 21 at Liberty High School for having dangerous weapons at school after a Leatherman knife and small portable blowtorch were found in his backpack. The items were consistent with damage from a vandalism on a school bus earlier that day. The student was expelled immediately from school and was later released to his father.


Drawing by Sara Alshaibani, Hazelwood Elementary

Drawing by Abraham L., 4th grade, Hazelwood Elementary

Laura Counsell, MBA, Branch Office Manager

Direct: 206.396.3161, Office: 425.282.1988 Fax: 425.282.6328 1800 NE 44th St., Ste 201, Renton, WA 98056

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7211 132nd Place SE, Newcastle, WA 425.235.8366

An Avon, Colo., woman reported Nov. 23 that while staying with a friend in Newcastle, someone unhooked her U-Haul trailer, which allowed it to roll downhill for about 40 yards, where it came to rest in another person’s front yard. The damage to the yard was less than $150; the woman paid more than $100 to tow the trailer.

Personal property found A Newcastle city employee discovered stolen property Nov. 23 near Southeast 93rd Street and turned the items in to police. The items, which included personal items and a laptop case, were stolen from a Prineville, Ore., man’s vehicle during a vehicle break-in as the man was staying at the Holiday Inn in Renton. The man was instructed on how to facilitate the return of his items.

Kick-in burglary

Drawing by Olivia Watson, 4th grade, Creekisde Elementary


Issaquah Education Association

P.O. Box 1337 • Issaquah, WA 98027 425-392-2126 • Fax 391-2950

Drawing by Grace Newell, 3rd grade, Sunset Elementary

425.444.SALE (7253)

A residential burglary was reported Nov. 27 in the 8800 block of 123rd Avenue Southeast. More than $3,500 worth of items was stolen, including an entertainment center, jewelry, a laptop, more than 50 DVDs and two Vizio TVs. The suspect entered the home by kicking in the walkin door from the garage.

Mystery computer purchases A man reported an unknown person used his credit card to purchase a laptop through on Nov. 24. According to Radio Shack customer service, the computer was being shipped via FedEx to the man’s home address. An additional charge for the same item at the same location was discovered the same day, but was not processed by the man’s bank due to his notification of the previous fraudulent charge.

Greens reportedly gone Drawing by Ismail, 4th Grade, Sunset Elementary

Drawing by Braden, 3rd grade, Mead Elementary


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A woman living in the 12600 block of Southeast 80th Way reported a bucket of Golden Hinoki Cyprus greens was stolen from her driveway between Dec. 2 and 3. The plants were valued at about $200.



Events The Newcastle Chamber of Commerce monthly luncheon is from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Jan. 11 at Tapatio Mexican Grill, 6920 Coal Creek Parkway S.E. Guest speaker is Randy Matheson, talking about the Renton School District levy and bond measures. Cost is $20 for members and $25 for nonmembers. RSVP to The Newcastle Chamber of Commerce presents “Weight Release With Ease” teleclass from 4-5:15 p.m. Jan. 11. Learn more by contacting Jackie Foskett at 227-8210 or The Newcastle Weed Warriors’ next project is maintenance and restoration work from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Jan. 14 at Lake Boren, 13058 S.E. 84th Way.

Public meetings All city public meetings are at City Hall, 12835 Newcastle Way, Suite 200. Call 649-4363. ❑ Parks Commission — 6-8 p.m. Jan. 10 ❑ City Council — 7-10 p.m. Jan. 17 ❑ Planning Commission — 7-9 p.m. Jan. 18 Newport Way Library Association Meeting — 7:30 p.m. Jan. 9, Newport Way Library, 14250 S.E. Newport Way, Bellevue The Newcastle Trails board meets the first Monday of the month at 7 p.m. at the Regency Newcastle, 7454 Newcastle Golf Club Road.

YMCA The Coal Creek Family YMCA, 13750 Newcastle Golf Club Road, has regular family programs for all ages. For a complete schedule, call 282-1500 or go to CoalCreek/Pages/Home.aspx.

Library events The Newport Way Library is at 14250 S.E. Newport Way, Bellevue. The following programs are offered the rest of the month: Computer class: “Email Level 1,” for adults, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 11 Book Group Business Meeting, for adults, 7 p.m. Jan. 23 Newport Way Book Group: “Open: An Autobiography,” by Andre Agassi, for adults, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 23 Computer class: “Internet Level 1,” for adults and teens,

JANUARY 6, 2012

IN THE SPOTLIGHT Scout Troop 499 to collect Christmas trees for fundraiser

By Bill Burris

Members of Newcastle’s Boy Scout Troop 499 collect Christmas trees in 2011 as a part of their annual fundraiser for summer camp and other activities.

7 p.m. Jan. 25 Baby Rhyming Time, for children and families, 10:15 a.m. Young Toddler Story Time, for ages 1-2 with an adult, 10:15 a.m. Tuesdays Toddler Story Time, for ages 2-3 with an adult, 11:15 a.m. Tuesdays Preschool Story Time, for ages 3-5 with an adult, 1 p.m. Tuesdays Baby Rhyming Time, for children and families, 10:15 a.m. Wednesdays World Language Story Time, for children and their families, 1:30 p.m. Saturdays Study Hall, for teens, children and families, 3 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays Study Zone, for teens, children and families, 3 p.m. Thursdays

Clubs East Shore Singles, a social group for single adults older than 45, sponsors monthly activities and special events on the Eastside. New members are welcome. Call 433-0558 for a monthly bulletin or go to or The Society of Artists for Newcastle, an art organization, is seeking new members. Call 271-5822. MOMS Club of Renton meets for play dates at parks and other locations. New activities are planned daily. This nonprofit, nonreligious organization provides daytime support for moms and their families. Call 260-3079.

Bridge players are wanted, evening or daytime. Games take place at various homes in the Hazelwood area. Call 2550895. Newcastle Historical Society meets at 4 p.m. the first Thursday at City Hall, 13020 S.E. 72nd Place. Call 226-4238. An international dinner, sponsored by Baha’i Faith of Newcastle, is at 6:30 p.m. the third Friday. Call 4308047. Drinking Liberally, an informal progressive social group that discusses politics, meets at 7 p.m. the first and third Thursday at Angelo’s Restaurant, 1830 130th Ave. N.E., Bellevue. Go to Eastside Mothers & More, a social network for mothers, meets from 7-9 p.m. the second Tuesday in the North Room at East Shore Unitarian Church, 12700 S.E. 32nd St., Bellevue. Go to Hill ’N Dale Garden Club, meets at 6 p.m. the first Monday September through June at the Newport Way Library, 14250 S.E. Newport Way. Call 255-9705.

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Newcastle’s Boy Scout Troop 499 will begin circulating through local neighborhoods at 9 a.m. Jan. 7 to collect Christmas trees from homes for disposal. The group will go through neighborhoods several times until 2 p.m. for its annual fundraiser. Homeowners may place their tree at the curb of their home for pickup. Donations for the Scouts are accepted by placing a Ziploc bag and envelope addressed to Troop 499 at 8042 116th Ave. S.E., Newcastle, WA 98056 on the tree. Donations can also be mailed to that address. If the troop misses a tree, homeowners can call 206-579-7732 or 206-817-8323 for pickup. It is not uncommon for trees to be picked up a week after the official date, and each year, the troop collects about 500 trees that get chipped and recycled. Donations to the Troop Scholarship Fund can also be made at HomeStreet Bank anytime during the year. Camping equipment donations for the growing troop are also needed.


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Submissions sought for park-naming contest

Requirements changed for winter rec areas

You can help name a local park. The Parks Commission will consider entries and ultimately recommend a name for the park on the west side of Newcastle at Southeast 80th Street and 113th Avenue Southeast to the City Council. Entries are due to the commission by 5 p.m. Jan. 31. The site is about .15 acres or 100 feet by 60 feet; has small native plantings and pine trees; and includes picnic tables, benches and a gravel pathway. The naming of park spaces should be based on the site’s relationship to certain criteria, including natural or geographic features, historical ties or features, individuals (living or deceased) who have made significant contributions to the park system, individuals who have contributed civic service to the city or neighborhood or common usage identification qualities. Call Parks Program Manager Michael Holly at 649-4444, ext. 142, or email him at for more information.

Requirements for residents to use winter recreation areas in Washington are changing, according to Washington State Parks and the Washington State Department of Natural Resources. The changes affect whether a Sno-Park permit or a Discover Pass will be required to access state-managed winter recreation areas and Sno-Parks. Visitors who have a current seasonal Sno-Park permit will not need to purchase a Discover Pass to visit a designated SnoPark area between now and March 31 for winter recreation activities. The seasonal Sno-Park permit is $40. A one-day Sno-Park permit is $20. Some nonmotorized Sno-Parks require a Special Groomed Trail sticker for an additional $40. An annual Discover Pass costs $30 and a day-use pass is $10, and transaction fees apply when purchased from a retail provider. Learn more about the changes by going to nonmotorparks.

Newcastle News

JANUARY 6, 2012


Newcastle woman searches for answers in her past Maternal, paternal Italian lineage sparks interest in genealogy By Christina Lords In 1981, Vickie Baima Olson took a trip with her father to the tiny village of Piano Audi, Italy, where her great-grandparents were born. The trip would change how she would come view her family, and herself, for years to come. “We went to a cemetery where a lot of the headstones had the same last name as mine,” Olson said. “They put pictures on their graves there. There was a picture there of a woman, and I thought, ‘My gosh, she looks like she could be my twin.’” That moment sparked an interest in Olson, a third-generation Newcastle resident, and her family since. As a longtime humanities and social studies middle school teacher for the Issaquah School District, Olson said she’s always been interested in research and learning more about the past. In 2000, Olson said she got serious when it came to uncovering her roots. She started learning more about her family through records, such as birth certificates, death certificates, marriage documents and others through the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ Family History Center in Bellevue, online and through family testimonials. She’s even started to learn the Italian language. “It’s something that you just

kind of get hooked on,” she said. “People will start looking for something and discover something, and it’s almost like things just start falling into place.” Olson knows both sides of her lineage emigrated from Italy, but she said she still has questions about how — and why — they came to this country. “As Italians, they were looked down upon,” she said. “They were discriminated against. The struggles of leaving everything familiar behind and then coming to a country where they’re completely unfamiliar … for them to be able to surmount all of the barriers and all of the things they had to go through, for me, was pretty inspirational.” “My dad’s side of the family is fairly transparent,” she said. “Then, I started trying to find my mom’s ancestors and there still are so many mysteries. There are so many twists and turns. There were a lot more difficulties.” Although Newcastle was only incorporated as a town in 1994, Olson’s family has been in the area for at least 110 years, showing up on the U.S. Census as early as 1900. Olson’s father’s side of her family, the Baimas, worked as coal miners in the Newcastle area. The Baima House, an original coal company house that has been preserved and listed on the historical register, and one of the few historical structures

Back tracking: an ongoing series about the history of Newcastle

Photos contributed by Vickie Baima Olson

Above, Vickie Olson’s father’s side, the Baima family, emigrated to Newcastle to mine coal in the area as early as 1900. Below, Olson’s mother is pictured (seated second from the right) with the rest of the DeLeo family.

“Who we are, really, and not just what we look like, but a lot of our values and our cultural characteristics, we owe to our ancestors.” — Vickie Baima Olson Newcastle resident

still standing in Newcastle, bears her family name. Olson’s mother’s side of the family, the DeLeos, farmed 180 acres of land that remains intact near the south side of the Cougar Mountain Wildland Park. The family received the acreage under the Federal Land Grant Act before Washington was established as a state. Anyone interested in their family’s genealogy should start interviewing living relatives as soon as possible, she said. “If people want to do this, they really are a gold mine of information,” she said. “I still

think about things that I wish I could go back and ask my father since he passed away.” A wealth of information can be found in guidebooks and online, as well as documents available through the Family History Center. The centers are a branch of facilities of the Family

History Library in Salt Lake City and can be used by anyone interested in looking for answers in the past. “Who we are, really, and not just what we look like, but a lot of our values and our cultural characteristics, we owe to our ancestors,” Olson said.



JANUARY 6, 2012

Students prepare for ‘vocal boot camp’ Five Liberty vocalists set sights on all-state choir By Christina Lords For Liberty High School senior Pamela Edmonds, the upcoming Washington Music Educators Association all-state choir workshop in Yakima isn’t just singing beautiful songs with some of the best high school singers in the state. “Think of it more like a vocal boot camp,” she said. There were 22 students from the Issaquah School District selected for this year’s WMEA annual conference, which culminates with a three-day marathon that will include more than 100 educational sessions, 30 performing groups and 80 exhibitors. More than 1,600 students were selected for the WMEA All-State honor groups, which include students from fifth to 12th grade, and more than 1,000 music educators from the state are expected to attend this year’s conference. The first WMEA conference was held in 1937. “The experiences gained through a program like this are invaluable, both to the individual and to the program at large,” said Robin Wood, Liberty’s choir director. “The knowledge gained from working with vocal peers in an

By Greg Farrar

Liberty High School selections to the WMEA All-State Choir, posing during a Liberty Singers practice with teacher Robin Wood, are (from left) Ashlynn Rowe, Pamela Edmonds, Jaylyn Andrus, Eric Spradling-Reim and Courtney Santos. advanced group raises the bar for the entire program when those students come back to their home choir programs.” The excitement generated when students come back from the conference to share their stories with the other members of their choirs encourages their peers to take the leap and audition the following year, Wood said. “Through this elite statewide

group, each student has the opportunity to work with renowned conductors and educators from across the country … cementing advanced techniques in their own approach to singing and working with their home choirs,” she said. Liberty students selected to perform are Ashlynn Rowe and Eric Spradling-Reim in the symphonic choir and Jaylyn Andrus, Edmonds and

Courtney Santos in the treble choir. Issaquah High School students include Jack Wheeler in the symphonic choir, Clayton Dungey and Madison Kelly in the wind ensemble, Alexander McCartney from the chamber orchestra and Jeremy Tang in the symphony orchestra. Skyline High School stuSee CHOIR, Page 15

Breakfast, book fair benefit Hazelwood Elementary By Christina Lords About 400 parents, students and community members are expected to mingle and chow down at the Hazelwood Elementary School PTSA annual pancake feed this January. Lisa Tintinger, PTSA member and event chairwoman, said the fair is a way to meet people within the Newcastle community while supporting a worthy cause. “The pancake breakfast itself is a community-building event,” she said. “It’s a great way to get together with parents of other kids and members of the community to get a feel for school. It helps build a friendly atmosphere for the school.” For the second consecutive year, the pancake breakfast will be held in conjunction with the school’s Scholastic Book Fair. The breakfast features sausage, fruit, Starbucks coffee,


Matthew Martin, 6, and Zach Martin, 3, (from left) enjoy pancakes with their mother, Jenny Martin, and Brooke Sanders, 5, at the 2009 Hazelwood Elementary School PTSA pancake breakfast. hot chocolate and all-you-caneat pancakes. It will be held from 8-11 a.m. Jan. 21 at Hazelwood Elementary. All proceeds from the break-

fast and book fair benefit Hazelwood’s PTSA and the school’s library. The event is open to any member of the community, and

children 2 and younger are free, while tickets for other children and adults are $4 or $5. Local grocery stores and coffee shops contributed goods to make the event possible, Tintinger said. Jane Bell, PTSA member and book fair chairwoman, said the profits from the book fair allow Hazelwood’s librarian to pick out much-needed books for the school. Attendees can also contribute directly to teachers’ classrooms by purchasing books for their classrooms. “It is contributing directly to classroom libraries and also to the school’s main library,” she said. “Without this money, I don’t think the school could go out and afford $2,000 worth of books like this.” Learn more by emailing Tintinger at or Bell at

Hazelwood Elementary boundaries to change The boundaries for Newcastle’s Hazelwood Elementary School will change after the Renton School Board voted at its Nov. 30 meeting to reopen Honey Dew Elementary School as a full kindergarten through fifth-grade school next year. The new boundaries will go into effect at the start of the 2012-13 school year. Creating boundaries for Honey Dew Elementary, 800 Union Ave. N.E., Renton, triggers changes to boundaries for eight other elementary schools — Hazelwood, Bryn Mawr, Campbell Hill, Highlands, Kennydale, Lakeridge, Maplewood Heights and Sierra Heights. Other district elementary schools do not have boundary changes. There are no boundary changes for the district’s middle and high schools. The boundaries were presented to the public at meetings held Dec. 7 at Bryn Mawr Elementary School in Seattle and Dec. 8 at Highlands Elementary School in Renton. The board approved the boundaries for Honey Dew in December 2010. The district’s Boundary Review Committee, a group of parents from each elementary school and district staff members, prepared the changes. Boundary changes are necessary to populate the new school, accommodate enrollment growth throughout the district and alleviate crowding, according to the district. The board has worked with district staff for more than four years to prepare for the Honey Dew opening, including monitoring student enrollment and dedicating a portion of the district’s annual operating funds to savings each year to fund the school’s reopening. Right now, the school is being used to teach kindergarten students from three district elementary schools. After further review of the number of students that will attend schools included in the boundary changes, the district has made slight alterations to some of the boundaries approved by the board in 2010. Parents and students who live in the areas of elementary school boundary changes can see next year’s new school assignments by going to the district’s school and bus routes finder at and entering in their home address.

Newcastle News

JANUARY 6, 2012


Rotary clubs honor students of the month

FLASH and HIV/AIDS information sessions held for parents

Renton Rotary honors Aileen Isakhorova

Parents of fifth-graders in the Issaquah School District, including those enrolled at Apollo and Newcastle elementary schools, will have the chance to examine the district’s adopted Family Life and Sexual Health and HIV/AIDS curriculum from 6-8 p.m. Jan. 12 and from 9-11 a.m. Jan. 14 at Issaquah Valley Elementary School’s multipurpose room. The curriculum will be taught to students during this school year in February and March. Staff and a teacher will be available for questions during an informal presentation that includes viewing the curriculum’s videos. Parents have the right to exempt their child from sexual education instruction, and the public viewings provide a centralized opportunity to do so. It is not necessary for parents to attend a public review session if they do not intend to exempt their children from HIV/AIDS instruction. The Washington State Omnibus AIDS law requires a parent to attend a public viewing session and review the materials before such an exemption may be requested or granted. State law requires local school districts to provide yearly instruction to students in grades five through 12 about the pathology and prevention of the HIV/AIDS virus. Call Debbie Nye at 8377618 for more information.

Aileen Isakharova, a senior at Hazen High School and National Honor Society vice president, holds a 3.9 grade point average Aileen and has been I sakhorova involved in the Symphonic Club, Honors Orchestra, the Highlander Club, the Breakfast Club and Leadership Team. She is a student athlete participating in track and field and was a swimming team captain, where she has received swim varsity letters. She has received the Outstanding Junior Award, Academic All-Star, Scholar Athlete Award. Aileen works part time as a lifeguard and an instructor at the Hazen Pool and volunteers with the National Honor Society, Synagogue-Eastside Torah Center and through East

Choir From Page 14 dents include Andrea Yi in the orchestra and Vica Tkatch and Brooke Rundle in the band. Julia Coutant, Andrew Millett, Rio Sano and Mikenna Whatley will participate in the symphonic choir while Kylie Boyd, Courtney Cohen, Devon Davenport and Charlotte Zhao

Hill String Lessons. Isakharova plans to attend the University of Washington to earn a bachelor’s degree in biology. She hopes to become either a pediatrician or ultrasound technician.

Rotary Club of Issaquah honors Liberty seniors The Rotary Club of Issaquah honored the following seniors from Liberty High School as its students of the month for December.

Carlie Mantel ❑ Category of recognition: Art ❑ Parents: David and Connie ❑ Scholastic achievements: 3.9 grade point Carlie Mentel average ❑ Athletic honors: Swim and dive team for four years, varsity swimmer for last three; participated in the Mukiltea Invitational and

will sing for the treble choir. Each student prepared in the fall an audio recording of themselves singing “America the Beautiful,” scales and arpeggios and was selected for his or her respective group. Students selected received the

KingCo events, both of which have a time standard for races; voted most inspirational sophomore year ❑ Activities: Piano lessons since first grade, yearly recitals and theory tests ❑ Scholastic interests: Like all my classes, but favorites are math science and art ❑ Hobbies: Drawing, swimming and playing piano; joined newly-formed Robotics Club this year and I am an officer (secretary) ❑ Outside school affiliations: Member of Campfire USA and participated in various volunteer work throughout the year ❑ Future education goals: Go to college in state (have applied to University of Washington, Washington State University, Gonzaga and Whitman); have not decided a major, but think it will be science related ❑ Occupation/career: Some sort of scientific research, but haven’t decided which field yet

Amber Turnidge ❑ Category of recognition: Foreign language ❑ Parents: Louise and Alan

music they’ll be performing Jan. 4, and they’ll have just over a month to learn the songs before the state conference opens Feb. 17. “It’s always nice to be around people who love to sing and who are good at what they do,”

Turnidge ❑ Sponsoring teacher: Michael Hansenflack ❑ Scholastic achievements: Five years of Amber Spanish, one T urnidge year of French, 3.9 grade point average ❑ Athletic honors: Third year member and co-captain of Drill Team ❑ Activities: First in state for DECA presentation, ASB senior class treasurer ❑ Scholastic interests: Honor Society, LINK Crew ❑ Hobbies: Snowboarding, skiing, singing, friends and family ❑ Outside school affiliations: Volunteering at Northwest Harvest, worked at Nordstrom last two years ❑ Future education goals: Attend a four-year university and major in business and minor in Spanish ❑ Occupation: Job in the international business sector

Andrus said. For the students who want to take their musical careers beyond a high school choir to college and beyond, the experience of performing with worldrenowned conductors from across the country will make them stand out through experience on their performance résumés, Edmonds said. The students will have the opportunity to work with peers from the state on different styles of music that they’ve never experienced before, Spradling said. “Performance is everything,” he said. “For me, I’m just so looking forward to working with and being around a great group of male singers. I have so much to learn from them.”

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Hazelwood seeks volunteers for Reading Express Hazelwood Elementary School is seeking volunteers for its Reading Express program. The annual program is designed to create a love of reading for students who struggle with the subject. The school needs volunteers who can commit 20 to 30 minutes per week, per student to read out loud to a child from books from the Hazelwood library. The commitment is once per week until the end of the school year. Email Margaret Campbell at or Donna MacGregor at to learn about how to volunteer.



JANUARY 6, 2012

Liberty overcomes sluggish start to beat Hazen, 54-48 Both teams look to improve in conference play By Christina Lords As the Hazen High School boys team opened play against Liberty on Dec. 22, Hazen coach Ryan Thompson liked the pace his team was setting. Led by senior guard starter Alex Olson’s eight points in the first quarter, the Highlanders were up 17-8 after the first quarter of the game. But Liberty rallied back for a 54-48 home victory over the Highlanders, scoring 21 points in the second quarter — including nine points from junior point guard and co-captain Tynan Gilmore. “I talked to them about playing more with their feet and doing what we do with Liberty basketball,” Liberty coach Joe Fithian said. “We’ve had a couple of games where we’ve just

By Greg Farrar

Ben Wessel, Liberty High School senior post, fouls Hazen High School junior center Cody Moorhead on the putback from a rebound during the first quarter of the Dec. 22 game. kind of gone into a funk. We haven’t been playing real fast, which is what you could see in the first quarter.” The surge put the Patriots back into the game, trailing by

just two points, 32-30, at the half. Gilmore would go on to contribute 17 total points for See BASKETBALL, Page 19

By Greg Farrar

Matt Campbell scores two points against Zac Kolterman, Hazen High School senior center, to get the Patriots back into a tie as the third quarter begins Dec. 22.

Liberty girls grab decisive 66-39 win over Hazen Hazen senior Airashay Rogers contributes 19 points By Christina Lords

By Greg Farrar

Adele Payant (left), Liberty High School sophomore center, and Hazen High School sophomore forward Gabby Brower chase after a rebound late during the third quarter Dec. 22.

As the Liberty High School girls basketball team squared off against Hazen High School, they knew they had a lot riding on their shoulders. After beating out Sumner and Newport, as well as conference foes Sammamish, Bellevue, Juanita and Mercer Island, they remained undefeated. The Patriots kept that streak alive on their home court with a decisive 66-39 victory over the Highlanders on Dec. 22. “We’ve been able to finish games off when they’re close, and we’ve had some close ones,” Liberty coach Randy Leifer said. “We shoot the ball well, and we’ve got three returning starters this year that give us an inside presence.” The Patriots entered the game strong, scoring 23 points in the first quarter, and held the Highlanders to just 10 points in the first half.

“We’ve got a nice mix between our four seniors and our young players,” he said. “We’ve just got to keep improving every game.” Liberty’s Sierra Carlson, a sophomore guard, came out hot in the first half of the game, knocking down 14 points before halftime. She would end the game with a season-best of 24 points. She’s averaging 9.1 points, 2.3 assists and 2.6 rebounds per game. Liberty senior center and cocaptain Aspen Winegar, averaging 14.4 points, 2.3 assists and 5.5 rebounds per contest, contributed 10 points in the Hazen match up. “We’re really young, but I think we’re really deep,” Leifer said. “It helps that we have a lot of people that can play.” After riding high the first seven games of the season, the Patriots would go on to lose its next nonconference game against Jackson See LIBERTY, Page 20

Newcastle News

JANUARY 6, 2012

Photos by Greg Farrar

Highlanders flatten Lindbergh Above, Austin Clark, of Hazen, gets Lindbergh's Colton Maddie on his back as referee Dave Black checks for a pin during their 132-pound bout Dec. 8. Although Maddie avoided the pin, Clark won in the third period by technical fall, 15-0. At right, Daniel Karpman (right), of Hazen, has a better hold over Lindberg’s Sterling Nugent than his headgear has on his head during their 138-pound bout en route to a 16-2 win. Below, Jayden Schoope, of Hazen, has the advantage of Lindbergh’s Chad Omanaka as he works to win by a pin at the end of the first period of their 106-pound bout. Hazen won the team match, 51-30.



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Newcastle News


JANUARY 6, 2012

Humble and respected, Liberty’s Josh Gordon is a quiet success Deep-seated sports passion has family ties for football, track star By Sarah Gerdes Josh Gordon, a standout athlete in track and football, Eagle Scout, honor student and brother, identified himself as a competitor at a young age. Gordon and his father were attending a University of Washington football game and Josh pointed to the field. “Someday, I’m going to make a touchdown there,” Josh told his father. Now 17 and attending his final year at Liberty High School, Gordon is working hard to make good on that promise. He’s the leading receiver for

King County in 3A football, and if football doesn’t work out, Gordon will look to track and field. As a junior, he won first place at state in the long jump and 1,600 relay, adding to the second-place medal he earned as a sophomore. One would think his success might change his personality, or make him susceptible to the culture of boastful talking. Not Gordon. “Josh is the most humble kid you will meet,” said Mike Smith, the boys coach for track and field at Liberty. “He wants to be on the relay, not just individual sports, and if someone needs help, he’s


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the first one to jump in, taking time out of his own practice.” It’s a trait that has won him the respect and admiration of his teammates on both fields of play, said Steve Valach, Liberty football coach. “When we were down 21 and four in with Juanita, we had seconds on the clock. Josh caught the ball and ran it back for the gamewinning touchdown,” Valach said No jumping up and down. No grandstanding. “He didn’t say a word,” Valach said. One of the crowd Gordon’s drive is self-motivated, according to Valach and his parents, though some of his athletic prowess is inherited. His father has been an athlete his entire life, and his mother was a three-time state champion in swimming events who still holds several school records. “I used to tease my mom that I was going to get more medals than her,” Gordon said, recounting how often he watched her old swimming videos to see how she handled herself. Her quiet, determined demeanor and grace under pressure influenced him as he progressed in his sports.

Josh Gordon That’s the type of leadership others in the community have come to expect from the young man who spent his summer drumming up school supplies for the Seattle Children’s Home. He placed posters around the community, collaborated with his football team and the owners of a swimming pool in Seattle to collect supplies. By the end of summer, he’d met his goal of providing enough supplies for every student, as well as raising about $500. “Here’s a kid that gets up at five every morning, goes to his seminary before school, gets his Eagle Scout and never says a word of any of it,” Smith said. “He just does it.” That type of demeanor has endeared him to other players, Smith said, “who look up to Josh and follow his example.” Gordon deflects the praise,

putting it back on his parents and his mentors at school. “One of the best things coach Valach taught me is that high school football lasts three years, but the lessons we learn in football can be used for life. That’s real world,” Gordon said. “Sometimes, no matter how hard you train or practice, sometimes it’s just not going to be enough.” His parents and coaches don’t complain about him lacking motivation. They worry he’s not enjoying the moment because he’s so focused on “doing it all.” “I call him my border collie,” Smith said. “He’s always herding. The hardest thing for him to do is sit still and be patient. When the practice is over and everyone is gone, Josh is still on the field, wanting to do more and learn more. I have to tell him to go home.” Gordon hasn’t let his focus on athletics detract from academics or service work in the community. He holds a 3.5 grade point average and recently submitted the forms for his Eagle Scout award. This balanced scorecard has made Gordon a viable candidate for scholarships. He is being recruited by several universities, including the University of Washington and Brigham Young University. For now, Gordon’s plans are modest. “Keep training,” he said. “Keep studying.” Sarah Gerdes is a freelance writer. Comment at

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Newcastle News

JANUARY 6, 2012

Basketball From Page 16 Liberty. “Tynan is a solid leader for this team,” he said. “When you seen him, he never gets rattled.” Liberty junior post Matt Campbell, who tacked on 11 points for the night, has been a major contribution to the team as well, Fithian said. “When we play hard, when we run fast, we’re a good team,” he said. “When we don’t, we’re mediocre.” This season, Liberty has come away with just one conference win over Juanita on Dec. 9. The Patriots hope to improve on a 13 KingCo 3A conference record and a 5-4 record overall. “I’m happy where we are … what I preach to my guys is do what we do,” he said. “I think we’re on our way. You saw tonight that we put in three out of four quarters of doing what we do, and it translates to a win.” Liberty’s other wins on the season include a 44-36 victory against Mariner on Nov. 30, a 60-53 win over Black Hills on Dec. 17 and a 53-44 win over Highline Dec. 21. Hazen senior guard Frankie Johnson and senior forward Dawit Kasa scored 14 and 12 points for the Highlanders in the contest, respectively. Kasa is averaging 14 points, 2.2 steals and 7.6 rebounds per

Can’t get enough Eastside news?

game. The Highlanders have split their Seamount Conference contests 2-2, beating Lindbergh, 6655, on Dec. 7 and beating Highline, 62-37, on Dec. 14. Hazen’s overall record stands at 4-5, beating Mariner, 59-53, on Dec. 2 and beating Puyallup, 48-45, on Dec. 10 in nonconference play.

“I’m happy where we are … what I preach to my guys is do what we do. I think we’re on our way. You saw tonight that we put in three out of four quarters of doing what we do, and it translates to a win.” — Joe Fithian Liberty boys basketball coach


Liberty hires new baseball coach John Martin has been hired to take the helm as Liberty High School’s new baseball coach. Martin was a pitching coach at Liberty for several seasons and was on the staff when Liberty won the 3A state title in 2003. Among his prized pitchers that season was future Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum, of

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the San Francisco Giants. Martin has spent the past several years as an assistant coach at Auburn Mountainview High School. He has also coached summer select baseball teams. Martin replaces Steve Darnell, who directed Liberty to a 6-8 record last season, when the Patriots were knocked out in the first round of the KingCo Conference 3A tournament.

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Newcastle News

JANUARY 6, 2012


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Liberty From Page 18 High School, 51-35, on Dec. 28, bringing their overall record to 7-1. The team remains 4-0 in KingCo 3A conference play. The Highlanders, who have had a sluggish start to the season, have a 3-4 overall record and are 2-2 in conference play. Hazen won its first game against Ingraham on Nov. 29, but dropped its next two contests against Lindbergh and Kennedy Catholic on Dec. 7 and Dec. 9, respectively. It then nabbed two wins — against Evergreen on Dec. 14 and against Lakeside Dec. 21. Airashay Rogers, a senior guard who has signed on to join the University of Washington Husky womens team next year, kept the Highlanders alive by contributing 19 of Hazen’s 39 total points against the Patriots. She boasts averages this season that include 21 points, four assists, 10.2 rebounds and 7.4 steals per game. Hazen junior guard Cecillee Fernandez scored six points against the Patriots, while junior forward Anastasia Pallis contributed five points.

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