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Former Tacoma City Councilman Mike Lonergan to head nonprofit

Post by Lewis Kamb / The News Tribune on Feb. 11, 2010 at 6:00 am |
February 11, 2010 9:50 am

Recently term-limited from the at-large council seat he held for eight years, former Tacoma City Councilman Mike Lonergan has been named executive director of the nonprofit Youth Marine Foundation.

Lonergan, who also is in his third week of hosting The Lonergan Program, a new morning talk radio show on KLAY 1180, will begin the nonprofit gig next week.

Founded five years ago, the foundation’s mission is to teach youth life skills through seafaring activities and to introduce them to the maritime culture. The nonprofit now leases a large building from the Port of Tacoma on the east side of the Thea Foss Waterway.

“The idea is to turn (the building) into an education center,” Lonergan told me Wednesday. “The Sea Scouts will be (based) there, and they have several large boats that they can train kids on. We’ll also be working with the school district to get some events and things geared toward careers in shipbuilding, being captains, different kinds of (maritime) jobs.”

“Part of my job will be to stir up fund raising,” added Lonergan, who has more than 20 years of previous nonprofit experience at the Salvation Army and the Tacoma Rescue Mission.

While taking on the new gig, Lonergan said he’ll continue to host his talk show focusing on Pierce County issues each week day, from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m.

“It’s going good so far,” Lonergan said of the radio show. “We’ve had lots of guests on. I had (Deputy Pierce County Executive) Kevin Phelps on this morning, and I’m having the (Pierce County) prosecutor (Mark Lindquist) on Friday.”

The show has received impromptu call-ins from listeners including former Mayor Bill Baarsma and Councilman Spiro Manthou, Lonergan said.

“The calling-in has been kind of slow,” Lonergan said. “We’re hoping to get more callers, but its’ going to take some time.”

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