Word on the Street

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

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Archives: March 2009

March
30th

A new neighborhood association in North Lakewood

In his weekly update, Lakewood City Manager Andrew Neiditz wrote the following about a new neighborhood association in the area of Western State Hospital:


&bull North Lakewood Neighborhood Association Forming: Bylaws were voted into place and officers were selected on February 7th for the new North Lakewood Neighborhood Association. This is LPD’s 6th District, the neighborhoods on the north side of Steilacoom Blvd. from Western State Hospital to Mountain View, including Oakbrook. The Steering Committee meets the first Saturday of each month for a working breakfast at the Fan Club on 83rd. They plan two Neighborhood Association meetings per

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March
30th

Pull, push, haul, dig

We have steam to blow off, righteous anger.


But the whole mob with pitchforks image is getting trite.


Better to grab shovels, hammers and clippers and show up at one of two Saturday work parties that offer the chance to whack away at bad stuff.


The First Creek restoration team will kick off Earth Month with a chance to kill all the ivy you want. We are talking cutting, pulling, even rolling up the invasive vine that’s attacking and smothering native trees in the watershed.


For the more automotive minded, there will be plenty of

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March
28th

Zoo officials prepare to move sick whale to new tank as concern grows

Editor’s Note: Qannik died later Saturday before the zoo could transfer the beluga whale.


Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium beluga Qannik plays with his hoop Thursday, March 26, 2009. Cole Cosgrove/The News Tribune


Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium officials were preparing Saturday to move Qannik, the ailing 8-year-old beluga whale, into a new pool as concern grows about his weight loss.


The temporary pool will be filled with warmer water, an environment that officials hope will allow the whale to expend less energy staying warm, said John Houck, the zoo’s deputy

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March
27th

Shout out to T-town’s longboarders

Last month, I wrote a story about a group of longboarders, led by UWT student Ben Warner, who planned to ride across the country to benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound.


Richard Crook, grandfather of rider Jerry Craker, just sent me this picture that was taken the day the team set off on its long, grueling journey. It was snapped by Samni Bell (Ben’s mom) on March 21.



(Pictured: Back row – Mike Jones, Jerry Craker, Ryan Donahue, Ben Warner. Front — Stacy Donahue)


The

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March
27th

Qannik has a “positive” day


Qannik showed more small signs of improvement today, officials with the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium said. He’s less dehydrated, his white blood cell count is approaching normal and his kidney function is better.


“But he’s not out of the woods yet,” said curator Karen Goodrowe Beck. The 8-year-old beluga whale, who has been suffering from an unknown kind of infection, was less playful today than he was yesterday.


See Qannik when he was feeling his oats:


March
26th

S.O.S for Lakewood History Museum

The Lakewood Historical Society needs help … fast.

The city’s first history museum — which opened October 2006 in the original Colonial Center on Mt. Tacoma Drive Southwest — says it needs about $25,000 to secure a lease for another year.

Becky Huber, president of the society’s board of directors, told me today that the nonprofit’s 250 members can’t pay for another lease alone. The monthly payment at its current location is $2,200.

The society’s lease runs through May 31st, and it wants to sign a yearlong lease before then. If it can’t, the 3-year-old center may have to close its doors.

News of the museum’s possible closure comes as it works with Clover Park Technical College to develop a permanent museum at a 1929 airplane hangar at the former Mueller-Harkins Airport. (That’s the college)

The $2.5 million restoration of the hangar will require a fund-raising drive and won’t happen until at least five years, Huber said. That means the historical society will have to find a way to survive in the meantime.

"The best alternative we have right now is to stay where we’re at," she said.

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March
26th

Real estate, old school style

Call it a diamond in the rough.



Call it a hidden gem.


Call it a starter multi-use center.


The old Rogers Elementary School on McKinley Hill is all that. And now it’s a bargain.


The stately school with the territorial view of the mountain and the port, has been on the market over a year. Now it’s had its asking price reduced to $1,995,000, a bargain for a building with a new roof, not to mention a playground, auditorium, parking lot and commercial kitchen. And did we mention the dog park across the street?


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