Word on the Street

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

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Archives: Nov. 2008


Pacific Police Chief John Calkins must face trial on DUI charge

Pacific Police Chief John Calkins will need to stand trial in Bonney Lake Municipal Court on a DUI charge, a judge ruled today.

A trial has been set for Jan. 26.

In his ruling, Bonney Lake Municipal Court Judge Douglas Haake rejected motions from Calkins’ attorney that the Aug. 2 traffic stop and subsequent arrest and detainment were illegal and that all evidence collected as a result of those actions should be suppressed and the case dismissed.

Both Calkins, 54, and his attorney Ken Fornabai declined to comment on the ruling. Fornabai did say the case will

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Tow Day II: Return of the Wreckers

Eastsiders have come to love the sound of tow trucks in the morning.

They have been working with Tacoma Police Department Officer Don Williams to rid the neighborhood of illegal and decaying cars in all the wrong places.

They’ve alerted Williams to blocks clogged with cars on the planting strips, cars with grass growing in their wheel wells, cars with expired tabs, cars on lawns, cars on sidewalks, cars parked facing the wrong way. Williams checks off the pertinent violation on a form. He leaves the form on the windshield with a notice that, if the owner

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Part of Broadway closed Thursday in Tacoma

Don’t plan on using Broadway between Second and Sixth in Tacoma on Thursday — unless it’s raining. Crews are planning to pave the street as part of the big make-over of the area. Here’s the press release from the city:


Nov. 18, 2008


Karrie Spitzer, Community Relations, karrie.spitzer@cityoftacoma.org, (253) 591-5790

Mark Henry, Public Works, mark.henry@cityoftacoma.org, (253) 591-5771

Broadway paving scheduled for Nov. 20

Broadway, from 2nd to 6 streets, is scheduled to be paved on Thursday, Nov. 20, from 6 a.m. until 6 p.m.

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Now the flood repairs begin on area rivers

Standing in his front yard on the levee next to the Carbon River, Don Heins recalled the sound of the Veterans Day storm last week ripping at the levee.

“It was about 1:30 or 2 in the morning,” he said this morning as he watched the jaws of a big excavator pull trees from the levee. “I thought it was big boulders going downstream.”

When he got up last Thursday morning, he saw what happened. The river had torn out about 25 feet of levee bank. The large rocks that held the levee were gone, swept away by

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Tacoma wins Tall Ships Port of the Year. Again.

The hundreds of thousands of volunteer hours South Sounders invested in Tacoma’s 2008 Tall Ships Festival paid off for the second time Saturday.

Mike McLeod of Tall Ships Tacoma’s Board of Directors, accepted the award at the International Sail Training and Tall Ships Conference in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Tacoma has taken part in the festival only twice, in 2005 and 2008. Both times it has won Port of the Year. This year, it outdid the cities of Victoria and Port Alberni in British Columbia and San Francisco, Oxnard, Los Angeles, San Diego and Dana Point

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Prop 8 sparks pro-gay marriage protests in Tacoma

Protests in support of gay marriage came to downtown Tacoma on Saturday.

About 150 people assembled at the rally at First United Methodist Church. They chanted slogans, held placards and waved flags as they marched between the church and nearby Wright Park.

Sherrie Orlob, a 57-year-old University Place resident, believes the passage of Proposition 8 two weeks ago in California is a setback in a larger struggle for equal rights for the gay and lesbian community.

Orlob, active with the group Old Lesbians Organizing for Change, was disheartened by Proposition 8’s passage; she has been waiting

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Need home repair help? Apply now.

Rebuilding Together South Sound has left its neighborly mark all over the South Sound. Since 2001 the non-profit has sent skilled volunteers out to help low-income home-owners tackle repairs.

Its crews have completed 152 projects, including 10 new roofs, eight wheelchair ramps and 19 grab-bar and handrail installations last year.

Stores, non-profits and individuals round up the money, supplies, brains and muscle for the jobs.

If you need help, you have to own your home, have an income below 50 percent of the median income, be unable to do the whole job yourself, be disabled

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A merger of missions

Tacoma Rescue Mission and Need-A-Break Services have merged, a move they say will save them money and make it easier to deliver help to needy people.

Need-A-Break, a relative newcomer to the local philanthropy scene, jumps in to help needy people with car and home repairs. The aim is to solve problems before they snowball into disasters. Car repairs, for example, could make it possible for a person to get to work on time, and keep a job.

With the merger, Need-A-Break will move from a site south of S.R. 512 to the New Life Center campus on

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