Inside Opinion

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

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Tag: Click! Network


Click ads at odds with residents’ anti-billboard fervor

This editorial will appear in Wednesday’s print edition.

For many Tacomans, big billboards are anathema, a blight on the city. At packed meetings, residents pleaded with city officials to continue fighting the major billboard company, Clear Channel Outdoor, which wants to replace its static signs with digital ones that change the message on a regular basis.

So what about all that makes Tacoma Public Utilities officials think that the public would be happy about advertising its city-owned Click Network on billboards?

In December – four months after the City Council voted to update its outdoor sign ordinance by banning digital signs and getting rid of 190 nonconforming ones – Click contracted with Clear Channel to advertise on many of those same nonconforming signs. Its one-year contract funnels $105,415 to Clear Channel for at least 13 billboards and accompanying production costs.
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Grist for Gritty Tacomans

Two recent articles in The Seattle Times struck a chord – and not in a good way.

First, on Sunday, Jon Talton wrote about how competition between the ports of Seattle and Tacoma is hurting both because they’re taking business from each other rather than from other ports. After noting that Tacoma has the advantage over Seattle of more capacity and dockside rail, he makes the case for a regional port authority (and you know it wouldn’t be called the Port of Tacoma-Seattle.)

The ports of Seattle and Tacoma are run by smart people who understand the threat and the

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Hey, Google, look at us!

I wasn’t the only one who saw a light bulb go on Tuesday night when I read online that Google plans to  set up pilot projects to demonstrate that it can provide ultrafast Internet service currently unavailable commercially in the U.S.

Why not Tacoma? I thought. Tacoma was — and is — a leader in establishing a municipally owned fiber-optic network that enables citywide broadband Internet access.  We might be a perfect candidate for Google’s scheme. I emailed Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland and Click! Network spokeswoman Diane Lachel to plant a bug in their ears.

They were way ahead of me.  Strickland said she had sent a note over to Tacoma Power, which operates Click!, when she heard the Google news. Lachel said conversations were already underway about whether and how the city should respond.

If we go for it, we’ll have plenty of competition.

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