Inside Opinion

What's on the minds of Tacoma News Tribune editorial writers

NOTICE: Inside Opinion has moved.

With the launch of our new website, we've moved Inside Opinion.
Visit the new section.

Tag: Camp Murray


Lakewood-Camp Murray marriage could be compatible

This editorial will appear in Thursday’s print edition.

The City of Lakewood and Camp Murray have gotten chummier in recent weeks over the issue of moving the camp’s main gate. But should they take the relationship to the next level?

Lakewood and Camp Murray will explore whether it makes sense for the city to annex the 240-acre state-owned property. The site – home to the Air and Army national guards as well as the state’s emergency operations center – is currently in unincorporated Pierce County. But it’s within Lakewood’s urban growth boundary, and the city has long been interested in annexing it as well as Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

At first glance at least, annexation would seem to be more in Camp Murray’s interest than in Lakewood’s. The city likely would assume some infrastructure and maintenance responsibilities – such as contracting for road repair and snow removal. But it wouldn’t get sales or property tax revenue because there are no businesses or residences at the camp. Read more »


With mitigation, Camp Murray plan should go forward

This editorial will appear in Friday’s print edition.

The proposed plan to move the Camp Murray main gate into Lakewood’s Tillicum community isn’t ideal. But it may be as good as it’s going to get, and the alternative – the status quo – is not a good option.

The plan is much better than what camp officials had in mind 10 months ago, when they wanted to move the gate to Tillicum’s Portland Avenue with virtually no mitigation for the community.

The City of Lakewood rightly pulled the plug on the earlier plan by refusing to issue the necessary permits. Read more »


JBLM traffic puts a costly strain on the South Sound

This editorial will appear in Friday’s print edition.

Joint Base Lewis-McChord troops back from Iraq or Afghanistan might think they’ve left a war zone only to face an army of road warriors on Interstate 5.

What once was a 40-minute commute between Tacoma and Olympia on most days to somewhat longer if an accident created backups has now become much longer – mainly because of thousands of additional personnel at JBLM. It’s not unusual anymore for the trip between Tacoma and Olympia to take 90 minutes or more.

For South Sound commuters heading north on I-5, HOV lanes provide an incentive to ditch their vehicles and take the bus or carpool. Not so south of Tacoma. Without HOV lanes, buses and carpools get trapped in the same interminable gridlock as single-occupant vehicles.

JBLM is taking one welcome step in response to the traffic: On Monday it will open a new entrance on Mounts Road from 5 to 8 a.m. so that northbound I-5 traffic going to the base in the morning can opt to exit before piling up at the main entrance. Read more »


Military doing a good job – of alienating neighbors

This editorial will appear in Thursday’s print edition.

Do the Washington National Guard folks at Camp Murray really want to pick a fight with their closest neighbors – the people who live in Lakewood’s Tillicum community?

That probably wasn’t their intention when they made public their plans to move Camp Murray’s main gate. But it sure has been the result; the plan has Tillicum residents up in arms.

The reason: According to a draft environmental assessment released Friday, moving the gate from its current location near the Berkeley Street Southwest/Interstate 5 interchange will mean 63 percent higher traffic volumes on Tillicum’s residential Portland Avenue Southwest. If the gate is moved, drivers will take the Thorne Lane exit and go through Tillicum to reach Camp Murray.

Residents are understandably worried that the higher traffic volumes will have negative impacts on their quality of life, their children’s safety and their property values – at a time when they were starting to look forward to the improvements a new sewer system and master plan promised to bring. Read more »