Word on the Street

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

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Archives: 2009


UP’s vision for a Playground by the Sound

Here is a picture of the playground land at Chambers Creek Properties that is posted on the project's Web site.
Here is a picture of the playground land at Chambers Creek Properties that is posted on the project’s Web site.

By Brent Champaco
The News Tribune

A group of University Place boosters hopes to generate support – and money — to build a themed playground at Chambers Creek Properties.

The goal is to raise $200,000 to build the playground, which will be fitted with everything from slides and swings to a rock-climbing wall, by September. To date, it’s raised about $23,000.

The effort, known as Playground by the Sound, is one of amenities that could be offered at the 930-acre site owned by Pierce County. The others include a pedestrian overpass that will open up two and half miles of beach access and future off-leash dog park.

Jeff Allen, chairman of the group’s fund-raising committee, says the proposed playground is a local project for University Place.

Plans call for a 12,000-square-foot playground in the North Meadow area of Chambers Creek Properties.

The community helped produced the playground’s design. Last May, Playground by the Sound held a design day in which elementary students from University Place shared ideas about what they’d like to have in a new playground. The designer, Leathers and Associates of New York, then took the ideas and incorporated them into the design.
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You lit up our life. Now we kick you to the curb

So fresh. So fragrant. So lovely. So full of hope.

Our Christmas trees were all of that. Now we’re getting the press releases that say they’re so yesterday. Or at least so next yard waste collection.

Here’s the fate for City of Tacoma trees:

1. You can cut it up and stuff it into your yard waste container, so long as it fits, isn’t flocked and you’ve removed all the lights and ornaments. Also the stand.

2. You can cut it into three-foot lengths, bundle it up in heavy twine and set it out for curbside pickup between Jan. 11

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Bonney Lake council approves development of forest

Bonney Lake officials agreed Tuesday to let a developer build homes and retail buildings over two-thirds of its 147-acre urban forest, provided that the development doesn’t result in an additional traffic light on the city’s main highway.

The Bonney Lake City Council approved a development agreement Tuesday that will replace the Washington State University demonstration forest with 65 acres of homes and 35 acres of retail and medical offices.

The remaining 47 acres of the forest will go to Bonney Lake officials, who plan to use the land for a new YMCA facility and new sports fields, Mayor Neil Johnson said Tuesday. The forest, owned by WSU, grows in the middle of Bonney Lake and has been closed to the public since 2006.

Mayor Johnson said the development agreement gives the city a chance to take a sizable chunk of the forest area and preserve it for public use. WSU and Weyerhaeuser, Co., have been working to develop the forest since about 2005.

“Our biggest fear is that if we don’t get anything agreed to, they could log the whole piece and replant it,” Johnson said before Tuesday’s meeting. “This is the time for us to take advantage of an opportunity.”

The agreement is still subject to final approval by WSU officials and Weyerhaeuser, Co. executives, who haven’t yet signed off on the city council’s condition that no traffic light accompany a proposed connector road between Highway 410 and South Prairie Road.

Without language prohibiting the traffic light on Highway 410, the city council wouldn’t have approved the development agreement Tuesday. Council members voted 4-3 against a version of the agreement that allowed the traffic light before passing an amended proposal minutes later.

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Bonney Lake Council to decide future of WSU forest

The Bonney Lake City Council will meet tonight to vote on a proposed development agreement for the 147-acre Washington State University forest.

Some citizens have objected to the plan that would turn the forest into 65 acres of housing, 35 acres of retail and medical offices, and 47 acres that Bonney Lake officials could use for a YMCA and park complex.

Tonight’s meeting will take place at 7 p.m. at the Bonney Lake City Hall, located at 19306 Bonney Lake Blvd.

The city council will also vote tonight on zoning amendments that support the proposed WSU forest development plan.


Riders loving new ferry technology

Pierce County says technology is helping the Steilacoom-Anderson Island ferry (shown above in September) operate safer and more efficiently. News Tribune file photo/Joe Barrentine
Pierce County says technology is helping the Steilacoom-Anderson Island ferry (shown above in September) operate safer and more efficiently. News Tribune file photo/Joe Barrentine

With the click of a mouse, Web surfers can find where in Puget Sound the MV Christine Anderson is sailing.

An up-to-the-minute map on Pierce County’s Web site also tells visitors which direction the ferry is traveling, as well as its estimated arrival and departure times.

The Web feature is the latest upgrade in a package of improvements that Pierce County has made to its ferry system over the last few months.

The goal: increased safety and efficiency.
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King County Metro Transit plans reduced schedule

The King County Department of Transportation  announced today a reduced schedule for King County Metro Transit. The department press release is below:

King County Metro Transit has several days of reduced service this week and next, so bus riders should check the schedule for their specific route before traveling.

Metro will operate with a Sunday schedule on:
• Friday, Dec. 25 – Christmas
• Friday, Jan. 1 – New Year’s Day

There is a Reduced Weekday Schedule for:
• Thursday, Dec. 24; and
• Monday through Thursday, Dec. 28-31.

Also, for those traveling in and around the University

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Furloughs close two county offices Thursday

Pierce County District Court and the Planning and Land Services Department’s development center will be closed Thursday due to employee furloughs, according to Pierce County.

The District Court closure is the last in a series of three one-day closures that began earlier in the fall to make up for cuts in the 2009 budget. On Thursday, the Court will only hold in-custody arraignment hearings. It will not operate for purposes of public payments, filings or other related matters. This action will involve all divisions of District Court, including Probation.

The development center’s closure is the

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Federal Way mayor treats his colleagues

Federal Way Mayor Jack Dovey passed out cigars to his City Council colleagues this week to thank them for their support.

Dovey gave a build-up to the cigars, before tipping off the council Tuesday night they were made of chocolate – not tobacco.

The occasion was Dovey’s last full council meeting in his two-year term as mayor.

“These cigars are very, very special,” said Dovey, who will remain a council member. “They are the finest chocolate you can find.”

His praise should make See’s Candies in Federal Way happy. That’s where Dovey bought the chocolate cigars.