Word on the Street

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

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Archives: April 2008

April
30th

The stimulus-check shopping has begun

The Internal Revenue Service is sending economic-stimulus checks to more than 130 million households. Even with plenty of taxpayers using direct deposit, the checks and envelopes to send the payouts still likely requires a forest’s worth of paper.

Maybe Ella Herron is just following the IRS’ lead.

The 74-year-old Tacoma woman is using her payment to remove a 40-foot maple tree in her yard. Neither she nor her husband can chop it down and haul it away, so the money will go toward the landscaping bill.

"I don’t need two trees," Herron said Wednesday. "I only need one. But it’s gonna cost a lot more than that check to cut it down."

The IRS began depositing the payouts, part of a $152 billion economic-stimulus plan, on Monday. Individuals will receive up to $600 and married couples up to $1,200. Parents will receive extra payments based on the number of children younger than 17 they have, according to the IRS’ Web site. The last two digits of one’s Social Security number dictate when taxpayers will receive their checks.

Many South Sound residents already had decided on what they’ll spend the windfall.

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April
30th

Last call for Tall Ships volunteers

The final opportunity to volunteer for this summer’s Tall Ships Tacoma festival is tomorrow.


Organizers say about 1,500 people have signed up to work the July 3-7 event, but 500 more are still needed. Available jobs range from assisting in security to working directly with the ships’ crews.


The final recruitment fair begins at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the Washington State History Museum at 1911 Pacific Avenue in Tacoma. Volunteers can also sign up at tallshipstacoma.com.


Volunteers must be at least 16 and commit to a minimum of two, five-hour shifts during the festival.

April
30th

Morning report, April 30

Today I’m working on something kinda fun: I’m talking to people about what they’re spending their economic-stimulus checks on. (I’m resisting buying a Playstation3 and Grand Theft Auto IV.)


Wanna join in? E-mail or call me. My contact info is on the right rail.

April
29th

A prohibitive curb on Yakima Avenue

Donna Siler loves the newly-opened Yakima Avenue overpass. But there’s one major problem: If she’s traveling from the north, she feels she imperils her life every time she crosses it.


Siler, a 58-year-old Tacoma resident, uses an electric wheelchair to get around after suffering a stroke last October. There aren’t any sidewalk ramps at the corner of South 28th Street and Yakima Avenue. That means if she wants to use the bridge, she has to use the traffic lane.


I’m waiting to hear from the city on this, but Siler said she

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April
29th

Another view of the Mount T rock

I just received an email from Tom Shearer. He was the principal at Mount Tahoma during its move to the new building (and an alumnus – Class of 1975). He is the superintendent of the American International School in Lagos, Nigeria.


I asked him about his thoughts of moving the school’s iconic rock, blasting it, slicing it, etc.


Here’s his response:


Although the rock has a lot of sentimental value to us who graduated from Mt. Tahoma, however as principal it was a constant chore to keep clean and graffiti free. When the new building

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