Word on the Street

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

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Archives: April 2009


More than 1,400 bird strikes reported in state since 1990

The Federal Aviation Adimistration just released its database on bird strikes.

Washington saw more than 1,400 since 1990. There were 134 last year.

The FAA cautions, however, that they think only about 20 percent are being reported.

That would mean there were really about 7,000 in the last 19 years.


Another reporter on a listserv for computer-geek journalists spotted this description deep in the national data:

“Gotta love the 5 green iguana strikes, like INDEX_ID=114998: "REPTD BY PILOT WHO WAS NOT INVOLVED

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Puyallup art fundraiser a success

Puyallup Arts Downtown leaders were hopeful that their casual jazz fundraiser last Saturday would attract more people than the semi-formal galas they’ve had in years past.

It worked, organizers told me earlier this week.

While in years past the group has only had about 170 people come to their auction event, they had more like 220 to 230 come this year, said Judy White, the new chair of the organization.

Part of that is because this year they were able to book the Pioneer Park Pavilion, which can hold

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Say goodbye to Point Defiance’s other Beluga

The Point Defiance Zoo just announced that Beethoven, the zoo’s remaining beluga whale, will be leaving after the recent death of Qannik.

Here’s the press release:

TACOMA – Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium’s beluga whale Beethoven will return to his home at Sea World in San Antonio, Texas to participate in a cooperative whale breeding program, zoo officials announced today.

A date for Beethoven’s relocation has not been determined but could be as early as April 29, according to zoo officials. With no whales available to replace Beethoven in the short-term, zoo staff are making plans to move California sea lions into the vacated whale pool during the summer months.

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It’s CBS prime time for South End and East Side

Tonight’s the big night for South End and East Side residents who’ve yearned for celebrity treatment from the City of Tacoma.

The city will roll out its Community Based Services program at 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 22,at Stewart Middle School, 5010 Pacific Ave. The new CBS area will stretch from Interstate 5 to 68th Street between Sheridan and McKinley avenues.

Tacoma Police community liaison officers Don Williams and Bert Hayes have been spreading the word (and the e-mails, and the flyers) that everyone is welcome to come and help set the program’s priorities.

The CBS program aims

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Kilowatts to carrots

Morgan Alexander was expecting maybe a dozen people to show up for a meeting about whether there’s a chance to convert nine surplus Tacoma Power substations into parks or community gardens.

He had the chairs all set up in a circle.

Instead, close to 40 people came to the meeting Monday night at the main Tacoma Public Library.

They showed up not because they liked the concept of preserving public property for public use. They came because they want a stake in specific sites. They want a say in what happens at 1009 S. 35th near Lincoln Park, 3008 N. 16th, 543 N. Stadium Way, 1920 N. Adams and 3404 S. 45th.

The sites have been empty for years, and Tacoma Power has maintained most of them as attractive, though fenced, assets to the neighborhoods. The water-view lot on Stadium Way is lush, unfenced lawn.

Rose Perino, a Safe Streets organizer, says people in South Tacoma are hungry, literally, for community gardens. The South 45th Street site has a cement pad and gravel that could support raised bed veggie plots accessible even to people in wheelchairs.

The site near Lincoln Park drew the most people, neighbors who said they’re eager to use a community garden as a way to grow food as well as a healthy community.

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Fort Lewis girl is a safety patrol star

At just 11 years old, Brooke Bowman already is a hall-of-famer.

The Evergreen Elementary School fifth-grader is among a distinguished group of 10 kids statewide who have been inducted into the AAA Washington Safety Patrol Hall of Fame for their safety patrol prowess.

Brooke is a safety patrol captain at Evergreen, a Clover Park School District school on Fort Lewis. She’s the daughter of Sgt. 1st Class Mark and Jennifer Bowman. She’s the third Evergreen student inducted into the Hall of Fame, following in the steps of Oralia Rodriguez in 2007 and Dylan Rochan in 2006.

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How would you ease traffic congestion on Interstate 5 near Fort Lewis?

You might have caught this news update about Lakewood leading a $500,000 effort to improve Interstate traffic near Fort Lewis.

Given its proximity and relationship with the installation, the city is the ideal candidate to take the lead on the project. The Lakewood City Council started the process Monday night by approving $500,000 worth of studies to the corridor.

City officials say Fort Lewis is somewhat unique from other installations in that it’s located next to an urban area. I-5 gets nasty in the morning and afternoon when traffic from the post, along with McChord Air Force Base, floods nearby roads.

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Puyallup City Hall gets new art

It turns out art displays in Puyallup aren’t only of the outdoor variety.

The new Puyallup City Hall also features a rotating gallery, which displays works provided by Valley Arts United.

The City Gallery’s second-ever exhibit begins today. It consists of watercolors, acrylics and pastels by local artist Mary Johnson.

A reception for Johnson’s exhibit will be held on the fifth floor of the Puyallup City Hall from 5:30 to 7 p.m. tonight, just before the Puyallup City Council meets.

Puyallup spokeswoman Glenda Carino said that the gallery exhibit will change about every three months.

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