Word on the Street

The latest news in and around Tacoma, Pierce County and South Puget Sound

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Archives: Oct. 2007

Oct.
30th

Business, neighborhood have been ‘wonderful’

Michael Smith, owner of Hairartz at 719 E. 34th St., recently moved his business from near the Tacoma Dome to McKinley Hill.


His business is located in a formerly derelict home that had been purchased and renovated — one of the latest waves of gentrification in the neighborhood.


He says his hair salon and gift business has been “wonderful,” and the neighborhood is “fantastic.”


I had looked at this over a year and a half ago to buy some property, but the area was really bad at the time. When

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Oct.
30th

A vote of confidence for McKinley Hill

I’m working on a story for Thursday’s paper about the rebirth of commerce and civic pride on McKinley Hill. What sparked my interest in the story is the Top of Tacoma bar at 3529 McKinley Ave. When I entered, my first thought was that the bar seemed almost too nice for the neighborhood — but then again, that’s the point of my story. McKinley is changing.


I talked to Jason Jones and Jaime Kay Newton, the co-owners of Top of Tacoma.


Newton, who was born in Puyallup and has lived for the past eight years in Tacoma,

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Oct.
30th

Yet even more homeless camps

I’m getting more calls about homeless encampments in Pierce and southern King counties. I’ve updated the Google map of the sites.


  • Federal Way: A caller left a voicemail saying there are "so many people" living in the park at South 304th Street and 11th Avenue.


  • Parkland: Another caller called about homeless people living in a vacant lot near 133rd and Pacific Avenue. She says they panhandle, try to flag down cars going by and stolen things from her yard.

Oct.
30th

Morning report, Oct. 30

I’m going to McKinley Hill today to report on the resurgence of commercial activity and civic pride in the area. The opening of Top of Tacoma bar sparked the idea for this story. If you haven’t been, it’s a really cool bar – and the kind of place that wouldn’t have been in this neighborhood a few years ago.

Oct.
29th

Ceremony at Fort Lewis

There are nine new Americans this evening. Eight soldiers and one military spouse took the oath of induction at the headquarters building at Fort Lewis today. It was a nice ceremony, and seemed obvious that many of the nine were about to burst with happiness – but many tried to keep their cool in front of base commander Lt. Gen. Charles H. Jacoby Jr.


I’ve already filed my story for tomorrow’s editions. Here are some of the highlights:


Spc. John Immanuel Rabina Galang is a human resources specialist with the 1st Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment. He’s originally

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Oct.
29th

The oath of citizenship

Listening to the nine new Americans take the oath of citizenship at Fort Lewis was pretty cool. The atmosphere in a conference room on a Monday in October had a more patriotic aura than most Fourth of July celebrations. But one thing got me thinking: Is it time to update the oath of citizenship? Most of it is still OK, but parts of it are a bit dated.


Seriously, how many people know what a potentate is?


I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign

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Oct.
29th

Spreading chocolate and a message

Todd Iverson and his friends celebrated Halloween a bit early and with a different twist: They went "reverse trick-or-treating," where they knocked on doors in Old Town Tacoma and handed out free chocolate.


They also passed along a message.


The chocolate was fair-trade – a growing trend in which consumers pay more for certain brands that guarantee they don’t exploit labor in developing nations – and Iverson said they wanted people to think about trade agreements the United States has with other nations, and to pressure lawmakers into rejecting a proposed free-trade

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Oct.
29th

Fort Lewis holds ceremony for new American citizens

Later this afternoon, I’ll be heading to Fort Lewis to watch eight soldiers and a military spouse take the oath of citizenship. There will be more in tomorrow’s paper and I’ll update the blog after this afternoon’s ceremony. I haven’t been to a citizenship ceremony on post before, but I’ve been to others; they’re usually quite emotional.


Here are the new American citizens (one can’t be named for security reasons):







Name



Country of origin



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