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: University Place


Looking ahead to the 2015 U.S. Open

The "lone fir" at Chambers Bay Golf Course. (Staff file photo)

I’m not really a golf fan – my idea of an exciting day at the links is a scorching round of putt-putt – but I tuned in to the U.S. Open over the weekend with an eye toward 2015.

That’s when the Open – arguably the most prestigious golf title in the U.S. – comes to Chambers Bay, the former strip mine turned world-class golf course.

I’ve never played the Scottish links-style course, but I’m a big fan of it for another reason. By building it, Pierce County was able to develop the Chambers Creek Properties for a variety of public uses. I enjoy the Soundview Trail around the golf course as well as the very good restaurant with its spectacular view over the water and the Olympic Mountains. On a nice day, there’s hardly a more pleasant place to eat or just have a drink than out on the Chambers Bay Grill patio. Other people use the dog park, the Bridge to the Beach, the events pavilion and the Playground by the Sound.

But back to the golf course. Will it be up to the U.S. Open? It won good reviews when it hosted the U.S. Amateur in 2010, but the U.S. Open is a much bigger event. The Amateur draws 3,000 to 5,000 spectators each day; the U.S. Open attracts as many as 65,000 daily. That’s a lot of people wandering over the rugged course and getting to and from it through University Place. Read more »


Playground by the Sound has bucks, needs builders

Playground by the Sound, which will be built by volunteers Sept. 20-25, will have a sweeping view over the Chambers Bay golf course and Puget Sound. (Staff file photo)

This editorial appears in Friday’s print edition.

Less than a month from now, a small army is scheduled to descend on the west slope of University Place. It will be a peaceful army with one mission: build the Playground by the Sound.

The army still needs volunteers to commit to at least one “building blitz” shift Sept. 20-25. Under supervision of Leathers & Associates consultants and volunteer coordinator Rebecca Vader, they will construct the 12,000-square-foot, handicap-accessible playground in the North Meadow of Chambers Creek Properties. Also needed are donations of materials, use of building tools, food for the workers and day care for their children. Read more »


Pierce County and cities should seek consistent fireworks laws

"Safe-and-sane" fireworks were on sale at a Thurston County stand in 2010. (Staff file photo)

This editorial will appear in Monday’s print edition.

Pierce County Councilman Dick Muri recently summed up what’s wrong with the county’s lax fireworks law:

“It’s not Independence Week that I know of,” he said, referring to the fact that residents of the unincorporated county can legally set off “safe and sane” fireworks for 11 hours daily during the eight days between June 28 and July 5. Muri is part of a County Council committee exploring whether to reduce the hours and days fireworks can be set off or to ban them outright.

If shooting off fireworks truly is an expression of patriotic fervor, celebrating July Fourth’s role in the nation’s history, why allow it more than a week before Independence Day? Or the day after?

“We could maybe at least keep the carnage down to one day,” Muri sensibly suggests.

That would be more in keeping with neighboring counties. Fireworks are limited to July 4 in unincorporated King County and to July 3 and 4 in Thurston.
Read more »


Roundup of our endorsements

The following are News Tribune editorial board endorsements in the Aug. 16 primary. An asterisk (*) denotes an incumbent. A double asterisk (**) denotes an incumbent by appointment. Names are listed alphabetically in dual endorsements.

To read the endorsement editorials, go here.

Tacoma City Council
District 1: Joe Atkinson

Tacoma School Board
Position 3: Dexter Gordon
Position 5: Karen Vialle

Puyallup City Council
At-large: Nicole Martineau and Steve Vermillion
District 1, Position 2: John Hopkins

Puyallup School Board
Position 2: Therese Ngo Pasquier

Sumner City Council
Position 4: Jon Swanson**

University Place

Read more »


Atkinson for Tacoma council; Nye for UPlace

This editorial will appear in tomorrow’s print edition.

Two candidates rise to the top in the primary elections for Tacoma and University Place city councils.

In the four-way race for Tacoma’s Position 1 – now held by departing council member Spiro Manthou – Joe Atkinson is the candidate most likely to help shore up the city’s shaky finances and focus on job creation in the private sector.

Position 1 represents a district that covers Tacoma’s West End and part of the North End; it reaches south to University Place and east to North Proctor Street. Seeking the seat, along with Atkinson, are Karen Smitherman, Anders Ibsen and Carl Alexander.

Alexander, a small business owner, isn’t running hard. Smitherman and Ibsen, in contrast, have mounted well-funded campaigns replete with endorsements from organized labor and the Democratic establishment.
Read more »


A new library and a first for UPlace’s Town Center

Visitors to the new University Place Library try out some of the 41 computer stations. (Photo courtesy of Pierce County Library System)

This editorial will appear in Tuesday’s print edition.

Saturday was a big day in University Place, and more than 4,500 people showed up to celebrate.

They crowded into the airy atrium of the new civic center on Bridgeport Way. The level of anticipation was such that they might have been waiting for the doors to open on a huge sale or for a chance at free, first-come-first-served tickets to a big show.

But no, they wanted to check out their brand new, eagerly awaited . . . library.

After four long years of cramped temporary quarters in a strip mall, wedged between a laundromat and a pizza delivery shop, the library is back. And it’s well worth the wait. Read more »


Lakewood, UPlace fire merger makes fiscal sense

This editorial will appear in Thursday’s print edition.

Here’s a novel ballot measure: A fire district is not asking voters to either increase their taxes or renew existing ones.

Instead, the Lakewood Fire Department is asking voters in its fire protection district to approve a merger with the smaller University Place Fire Department as a way of making more efficient use of taxpayer dollars.

If Lakewood voters approve the Feb. 8 ballot measure – and they would be wise to do so – the merged department would be known as West Pierce Fire & Rescue. That agency would be led by Lakewood Fire Chief Ken Sharp, and his deputy chief would be University Place’s current chief, Mitch Sagers. It would be governed by the merged five-member boards of both districts, with the new 10-member board shrinking to five as terms expire. Read more »


Chamber of horrors in University Point, Wa.?

Curious to see what was being written about Chambers Bay by the out-of-town sports media, I came across a posting by Tim Cronin, a blogger for the Chicago-area Southtown Star. He gets the name of the city wrong, calling it University Point instead of University Place.

Cronin quotes player Jason Buffone: “Words don’t describe how tough it is . . . It’s the hardest course I’ve ever played in my life . . . Try to hit a 5-iron off concrete.”

Read the entire posting here.