Word on the Street

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

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Archives: July 2008


A prolonged struggle

Remember the residents of Country Aire Manor in South Hill? They’re the ones facing eviction after their park was sold to developers.

A Graham newspaper has an update. They haven’t given up the fight.


Learn about the changes coming to Pacific Avenue

Want to learn about the future of Pacific Avenue?

The City of Tacoma is hosting an open house next week to provide details about the improvement project for downtown’s main thoroughfare.

The two-phase project, which is scheduled to start in mid-August and finish by early November, includes replacing the street’s asphalt surface and base section. Sidewalks, curbs and gutters will be repaired where needed.

What: Pacific Avenue improvement project open house
When: 4-6 p.m. Wednesday
Where: Room 708 of Tacoma Municipal Building at 747 Market St.

Click below to read the release:

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Want to coordinate the City of Destiny Awards?

Live in Tacoma and want to recognize those who make a difference in your neighborhood and elsewhere? The city needs three people to fill out ifs Citizens Recognition Committee.

The 11-member panel’s biggest duty is coordinating and selecting the winners for the City of Destiny Awards. (Note to readers: Yours truly is still awaiting his nod.)

Click below to read the release:

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Colombia’s tall ship to arrive in Tacoma this weekend

It missed one celebration, but it’ll arrive just in time for another.

The Gloria, the 257-foot steel-hulled flagship of the Colombian navy, will dock this weekend at the Foss Waterway Seaport in Tacoma. The ship’s crew is on a goodwill mission to the United States, and they’re stopping in Tacoma to take part of the sixth annual United Festival Latino.

This is the Gloria’s first West Coast trip, festival organizer Marvin Gaviria said.

"They’re coming in straight from Panama," Gaviria said Tuesday. "They’ve been out as sea the past three weeks just to come here for the festival."

The ship was originally scheduled to take part of the Tall Ships Tacoma 2008, a five-day event earlier this month, but couldn’t make it. The organizers of United Festival Latino then decided to make the ship’s arrival its centerpiece attraction.

Up to 20,000 people are expected to attend Saturday and Sunday.

The Gloria’s crew is expected to show off a little when the ship arrives in Tacoma.

"All the sailors stand on the masts, all the way to the top," Gaviria said. "It’s a beautiful display of all the sailors."

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Pierce County scrambling after asphalt supplier cuts county off

Blame cokers. Or light crude. Or the rising price of oil.

Either way, Pierce County has run out of asphalt.

The county announced Tuesday it was canceling preventative chipsealing maintenance of 48 lane miles of roads because of a shortage of liquid asphalt. Its supplier, Albina Asphalt Products of Vancouver, Wash., ran out of the product earlier this month after a halt in manufacturing at the Tesoro refinery in Anacortes.

It had originally planned to chipseal 70 lane miles throughout the unincorporated areas, Lakewood, University Place and Edgewood. The county said no other regional sources are available, and almost all of its 3,100 lane miles are made of asphalt, making most alternative methods unfeasible.

The county is divided into four road districts, and only the Purdy district completed the maintenance.

"That leaves Districts 1, 2 and 3 without getting a surface treatment," said Paul Marsh, a superintendent in the road operations division of the public works and utilities department. "That’s everything west of the (Narrows) Bridge."

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