Word on the Street

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

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Archives: Jan. 2008

Jan.
31st

Huson tees off on the status quo of Ruston politics

Bradley Huson is fiery. He garnered 163 votes – the most last election among the four candidates standing for two open seats on Ruston’s town council – and says he has mandate from the voters to change the status quo.

Nor does he pull any punches or hesitate to use the tools at his disposal to get what he wants. At the last town council meeting, he proposed (and the council approved with a 3-1 vote) a set of rule changes that limited public input. The changes followed public outbursts at a previous meeting – and were followed by outbursts when he proposed them. But they were necessary, he said, and he’s unapologetic.

"We’re not going to have any more outbursts like that because I have had it with the (bull)," he said. "Somebody has got to take control of that meeting and run it in a businesslike fashion. I deal with rich, crazy people all day, and I’m not going to deal with crazy people all night. There’s nothing in it for me. The only reason I ran for this office is to get something done. I’m not going to sit with a bunch of psychos in the evening under fluorescent lights and has over crap that makes the meetings five times longer than it should be. It’s ridiculous. … I feel that we have given everyone every opportunity to conduct themselves as human beings. These people are crazy, and I’m just not going to stand for it anymore."

I asked him if he understands why some would be upset. Sure, he said:

"They’re like caged animals. They have no political power. They’re scared and they’re like caged animals. When you throw a bunch of animals in a cage and scare them, that’s how they behave: like the town council meeting. That’s what the problem is. The Karen Picketts, the Torbets, those people have lived in town forever. This is the first time in the history of this town that they have absolutely no power. They have no voice. The only voice they have is the mayor – and he’s not going to be behind them 100 percent of the time. They’re a frightened group of people because they don’t have any real power. They’re frightened, but they’re also not that bright. Don’t antagonize the people who have to make the decisions on your behalf. Don’t (tick) people off. Even the stupidest child knows that if you (tick) off your parents, you won’t get great Christmas presents. So don’t (tick) off your parents. Be nice to them. Be nice to the people who have control over the things you would like to happen. It doesn’t make any sense."

And there are no plans to drop the rule changes anytime soon.

"Until I’m satisfied we’re getting the business done that needs to get done, and everybody behaves themselves, I’m all for keeping them permanent," he said. "That’s how a lot of other jurisdictions do business. They don’t allow a free-for-all of public comments about what color of toilet paper they have in the men’s room at the police department – which is really what it comes down to at our public meetings. … The whole ramped-up, steam of consciousness BS at council meetings is over. It’s over. I don’t have the time to sit through it. I don’t have the patience to sit through that kind of thing."

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Jan.
31st

Morning report, Jan. 31

Once again, I will be your faithful reader representative today. I’ll bring interesting tidbits if I find them, but yesterday it was slim pickings…


But fear not: In a few minutes, I’ll be posting my interview with Ruston Town Councilman Bradley Huson. This guy pulls no punches.

Jan.
30th

Morning report, Jan. 30

I’m back. And while you guys worried about cold and snow, I had two lovely days of upper-60s temperatures and sunshine.


Where does this gloating land me? Into the reader representative’s seat. I’m filling all day today. If you’re unfamiliar with how it works, it’s like this: For a week at a time, one newsroom employee is required to field phone calls and e-mails from the readers about anything from why we need Drabble on our comics page (and we do) to the usual claims of bias to the y’all-screwed-up calls. The shifts are on a rotation, and everyone

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Jan.
26th

Pickett’s view of the Ruston situation

Karen Pickett met me at Shari’s, and her soft-spoken voice belies a ton of passion for Ruston and its political scene. Pickett, a former councilwoman, recently launched the Ruston Home blog.

"It wasn’t anything too preplanned. I just wanted something where we could have some online dialogue – like a bulletin board or something," she said. "It just popped in my head in November to start a blog."

It’s not meant to go head-to-head with Ruston Connection.

"Some people said it’s like picking a fight – or continuing a fight – against the Ruston Connection," she said. "I don’t see it that way. I just wanted to get people talking."

She believes there is good reason for the anger in town.

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Jan.
26th

The view from Don’s Market

I sat down at Don’s Market & Deli in Ruston to chat about the town’s politics. The first person I talked to was Craig Fletcher, who offered up this theory on why Ruston politics are so sticky:

"It’s a bit more vicious because we know these people intimately," he said. "Some of them are former friends. Some are current friends."

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Jan.
26th

Busy college fair gives students info for future

Janaia Secrest might have worn a purple jacket to the college South Sound College Fair on Saturday, but that doesn’t mean she is on a predestined path to Montlake.

"I actually want to go to Washington State," said the senior at Foss High School, showing off a house key emblazoned with the Cougars logo. "But I looked around at a few different places today."

She wants to study philosophy or political science and is also applying to the University of Washington and Saint Martin’s University in Lacey. She stopped by Saturday’s event to find out more about 25 Western Washington colleges and universities that set up booths in the UW Tacoma’s main academic building.

"There’s a ton of information in there," she said. "It was definitely worth the time."

Organizers of the college fair expected 300 to 400 students to attend. Most visitors were high school students and their parents, but community college students and people interested in graduate work also talked to recruiters.

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