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Category: Your View


FINAL: Calling all Tacomans, Pierce County-ians and beyond: Let’s make a local gift guide

The News Tribune’s stock in trade is local news. As a business reporter, one of my jobs is to try to sketch the local economy and how it affects, and is affected by, broader forces.

But one of the topics I enjoy writing about most is goods produced and sold locally. And we’ve gotten some calls in the past few days asking for, basically, a local gift guide.

Let’s make one together. I’ll start with a rough list of some of the items I’ve bought over the years as a way to send the flavor of Tacoma to my relatives

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Russell Investments’ parent company announces ‘commitment to downtown Milwaukee’

Can’t help but read this news release with a slightly curled lip.

“Northwestern Mutual today announced plans for a new downtown Milwaukee office tower expected to preserve 1,100 current jobs in the city while creating capacity for as many as 1,700 new jobs.”

Northwestern Mutual is the parent company of Russell Investments, the company born 77 years ago in Tacoma that Northwestern Mutual moved to Seattle a few years ago after it got a screaming deal on an empty high-rise left from the spectacular failure of Washington Mutual.

Local leaders pitched hard to the Milwaukee company to build a signature new

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Grit snit: How a well-meaning non-Tacoman encouraged us to love our “gritty” image with the wrong facts

Lesson: Don’t believe everything you read.

Except this story I’m about to tell. You can believe it.

At the annual meeting today for the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber, guest speaker Steven Little encouraged Tacoma to embrace its differences, its history, and its grittiness.

Little concluded his presentation by telling the audience of more than 500 local people to remember that being known as the “Grit City” doesn’t actually have anything to do with our industrial past. He then cited an essay published last December in local arts magazine Post Defiance. It purported to share the “true origin” of the moniker:

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Kent seeking residents’ opinions on next phase of downtown redevelopment

Kent has already accomplished much of what it sought a dozen years ago for downtown.

Kent Station retail is busy. Sounder is operating with near capacity trains and new downtown parks and fountains are well used.

Now the city wants to know what Kent residents want in the next phase of the city center’s renaissance.

To that end, the city has posted a survey online at

A steering committee made up of local business owners, community groups, city leadership and interested residents is providing creative ideas and acting as a sounding board as the city

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Innovators, business people, artists and others to share ideas at Tuesday event

Twenty Puget Sound innovators, business leaders, doctors and artists will be sharing their “ideas worth spreading” at the first Washington event sponsored by a local group patterned after a national idea-sharing group called TED.

The event is scheduled from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm Tuesday at the Museum of Glass. A two-hour reception will follow. The independently organized event is sponsored by TEDx Tacoma.

Speakers, whose talks will be limited to 18 minutes, include such area idea leaders as Tacoma tech entrepreneur Janine Terrano, Donald Byrd,artistic director of Spectrum Dance Theater and Joe Mirabella, campaign manager at

TED is

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Throw in your two cents on signs and kiosks designed for visitors to downtown Tacoma

Now’s your chance to help design signs and kiosks to help visitors find their way around downtown Tacoma.

As part of the larger $8 million project to renovate Pacific Avenue, $200,000 has been set aside to finally work on tools to help people find their way around. Such “wayfinding” has been a desire of downtown businesses for years, and staff of the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber have worked on it for quite some time, too.

Those of us familiar with downtown have no trouble getting to our favorite spots. But spend just a few minutes with someone from

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Those cool letters will arrive Saturday at downtown Tacoma’s Tollefson Plaza

Serious journalists aren’t supposed to be publicly excited about things, but I think this one is pretty neat.

“Words,” the temporary art installation that was a hit last summer at downtown Tacoma’s Tollefson Plaza, will be back Saturday, the city announced today.

Tacoma artist James Grayson Sinding will drop hundreds of hand-painted wooden letters onto the plaza at 2 p.m. People can create messages until the end of the month.

The installation is supported by Spaceworks Tacoma and the Tacoma Arts Commission’s Tacoma Artists Initiative Program. “Words” is presented in conjunction with the Tacoma Art Museum’s “Free

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What, Tacoma, depressed? The devil’s in the details

Our journalistic brethren to the north took a broad look today at Tacoma, connecting some of the city’s recent and potential losses downtown and asking whether we’ll ever be able to recover.

I know that if I tried to encompass Seattle’s recent history – what with the collapse of WaMu, $4 an hour parking in some places, turmoil in the school district and that whole viaduct thing – I’d probably miss some subtleties, too. That’s OK. I only noticed two real errors in the story. The Children’s Museum won’t “break ground” on its new space, since

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