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Tag: Ruston


Longtime Ruston councilwoman and Croatian community activist Mary Krilich Joyce dies

She was considered the glue of Pierce County’s Croatian community.  She helped the Town of Ruston reclaim its only school. And at one time, she was believed to be among the longest consecutively elected officials in Washington.

Mary Krilich Joyce, a wife of 56 years, mother to six children and a former Ruston Town Council member for 38 years, died of natural causes Wednesday. She was 83. 

“Mom was a trailblazer who tolerated no resistance from anyone based on her gender,” her oldest son, Stephen Joyce, said Thursday. “She wasn’t a feminist out there burning a bra, she just knew

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Was Ruston’s gambling referendum a legally binding vote?

As we reported on Saturday, the Town of Ruston appears to be reconsidering a new town ordinance that specifically banned casino-style card games.

According to a recent letter from the town’s attorney, the Town Council is expected to take up a measure seeking to repeal the new ordinance that effectively outlaws Black Jack and other “house banked” social card games like those once offered at the only mini-casino in town, the Point Defiance Cafe and Casino (The law didn’t extend to “bona fide charitable or nonprofit organizations,” which are still allowed to carry out such card games).

In August, the council passed the gambling ordinance, contingent upon the outcome of a referendum posed to town voters that was ultimately placed on November’s ballot. A statement for the measure, included in November’s Pierce County Voters’ Guide, said:

Voting ‘Yes’ on Ruston Referendum Measure 1 will end house-banked card rooms (casinos) in Ruston
forever. Finally, “We the people of Ruston” will decide the fate of casinos in our community and not have it decided by business people who don’t live in Ruston.

Ruston voters approved the referendum to ban the card games by a count of 184 to 168 — or 52 to 48 percent. The new ordinance was supposed to take effect when the election results were certified.

But after Steve Fabre, the Point Defiance Cafe and Casino’s owner, filed suit against the town on Dec. 13, the Town Council now “appears to be in the process of repealing” the gambling ordinance — as detailed in this Dec. 28 letter from Town attorney David Britton to Fabre’s lawyer.
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