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Archive for February, 2020

Originally published in The Seattle Times, February 27, 1991

Open-pit excavations may take county refuse

By Charles Aweeka
Times South bureau

Trucks at the Pacific Coast Coal Co. wait to haul fine coal to Ravensdale where it will be loaded onto railroad cars and shipped to various locations locally and abroad. (Chien-Chi Chang/Seattle Times)

BLACK DIAMOND — One hundred and fifty feet below the earth’s surface, the coal in John Henry No. 1 Mine crunched beneath our mud-caked boots and shimmered in the sunshine.

“The blacker and shinier it is, the better it is,” said Mark Abernathy, business manager for the Pacific Coast Coal Co., which started the open-pit coal mine in 1986.

We were standing on what Abernathy calls a humpback because it resembles the back of a whale but what actually was the base of a 50-foot-wide seam of coal.

The mine may take on a new purpose soon.

Once the excavation reaches a depth of 250 feet, the Pacific Coast Coal Co. and John Henry Reclamation Inc. have proposed to use the pit as a landfill for King County construction, demolition and land-clearing debris.

The mining will go on simultaneously in another area of the pit, say the owners. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, February 25, 2015

By Kathleen Kear

Towards the end of 2014 concerns ran high as to whether the Black Diamond Gym would stay opened or close, however, continued negotiations between the city and Black Diamond Community Center led to a resolution that has put a smile on everyone’s face once again. (more…)

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Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, February 25, 1926

Members of the Washington State Press Association, in their fourteenth Annual Institute in Seattle, are to be the guests of the Pacific Coast Coal Company on Saturday, February 27. They will visit Newcastle, where they will make a trip into Primrose Tunnel, after which they will inspect the Briquet Plant on their return to Seattle. The Pacific Coast Coal Company welcomes this opportunity to greet the representatives of the press.

(more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, February 24, 2009

By Kathleen Kear

Community members and guests filled Black Diamond Community Center where they enjoyed a kickoff event celebrating Black Diamond’s 50th anniversary of being a city. — Photos by Ron Olness.

Quickly running through their regular city council meeting agenda on Thursday, February 19, at the Black Diamond Community Center, Mayor Howard Botts—along with Mayor Pro Tem Rebecca Olness and Councilmembers Goeff Bowie, Bill Boston, Leih Mulvihill, and Kristine Hanson—turned his attention to the kickoff event that will begin a year-long celebration of Black Diamond’s 50th anniversary as a city. (more…)

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Originally published in the South County Journal, February 23, 1998

By Mike Archbold
Journal Reporter

Horseshoe Lake is just west of the city of Black Diamond. Homes nestled along the shore of the small lake are threatened with flooding because the lake has no outlets. (Marcus R. Donner/Journal.)

BLACK DIAMOND — Barbara Rush stood with a handful of other Horseshoe Lake residents and pointed to the white pole with black markings sticking out of the water in her backyard.

King County has a similar pole but it is underwater. Despite an El Nino winter that has kept rain to a minimum, the lake level has risen since summer. (more…)

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Originally published in the Valley Daily News, February 22, 1994

Program helps families build and buy homes

By Chris Swanson
Valley Daily News

Erin Stout and Jerry Benien work on bending rebar for the footings of Jerry’s house. (Valley Daily News photo by Marcus R. Donner.)

BLACK DIAMOND — The construction crew at The Ridge at Black Diamond is literally building for a better future—their own.

It’s called “sweat equity,” and it’s not for the faint of heart.

Nineteen family households broken into two groups are now working on 19 homes at this subdivision. Another group will begin construction on the final eight homes in June.

They will be spending 30 hours a week here for the next nine to 12 months—until their new homes and the homes of their neighbors are done and they all can move in.

“They have to want this very badly,” said Judy Kelly of Northwest Housing Development, based in Sumner. “It’s quite a commitment.”

For these families, it may or may not be a labor of love. But it is definitely a labor of necessity. Most have incomes below 80 percent of the median level in King County ($38,400 for a family of four). (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, February 22, 1989

The long battle over the cleanup of Lake Sawyer, the third-largest lake in King County, would be resolved under legislation (SB 5801) sponsored by Sen. Frank Warnke (D-Auburn).

The legislation would direct the Black Diamond sewage plant to connect a pipeline to the Seattle sewage facilities for the disposal of waste. Studies show that the current system is dumping a large amount of phosphorus into the lake while treating the waste at Black Diamond. (more…)

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Originally published in the South County Journal, February 21, 1997

By Mike Archbold
Journal Reporter

BLACK DIAMOND — This small but growing town near the Green River has a grocery, a pizza parlor, and even a video rental outlet.

And now after a six-year absence, Black Diamond finally is getting its own bank.

Mt. Rainier National Bank of Enumclaw expects to build a $700,000 branch on Third Avenue by late spring or early summer, according to bank officials. The 3,500-square-foot bank will be located near the entrance to Palmer Coking Coal. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Daily Times, February 21, 1920

Maple Valley had some real excitement yesterday and was all agog today.

E. Clark is justice of the peace down at Maple Valley and besides that is proprietor of the hotel, grocery store, and the pool room.

Armed with certain and specific search warrants, Deputy Sheriffs Julius Von Gerst, William Downey, and Raymond E. Murphy went to Maple Valley yesterday.

The folk of the community gazed in open-mouthed awe. Gee, what’s going to happen?

You could have knocked them over with a straw when the deputies entered the home of Justice of the Peace Clark.

And when the deputies emerged with a cache of moonshine, five gallons of corn whiskey, and a small quantity of wine and beer, you could have made the community folk believe the world was coming to an end.

Justice of the Peace Clark was brought to Seattle and arraigned before Justice of Peace Otis W. Brinker. He pleaded guilty to possessing liquor.

“But I had it for a long time. I never sold any,” he explained.

Justice Brinker imposed a fine of $100. Justice Clark paid the same and returned to Maple Valley.

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, February 20, 2007

The former railroad depot, built in 1886, in Black Diamond now houses the Historical Society Museum. Down Railroad Avenue the current book store is visible. It has also been King’s Tavern. — Photo by Barbara Nilson.

Featured speaker at the Maple Valley Reunion, Sunday, Feb. 25th, will be Mayor Howard Botts of Black Diamond. The 1 p.m. program at the Grange Hall on Highway 169 at 216th is sponsored by the Maple Valley Historical Society.

Mayor Botts, who was born and raised in Black Diamond, will relate the histories of the two towns and how they have been connected over the years by the highway, the railroad, once upon a time, as well as other similarities. He’ll also discuss, “what is coming down the road; hopefully, new homes and new businesses.”

He said, “It is always interesting to talk about my home town.” Botts has served as mayor for 24 years and before that served several terms on the City Council in the 1960s and then during the 1970s, he was a member of the Planning Community. (more…)

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