Word on the Street

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

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Archives: May 2009

May
30th

The “Zack Attack”

Update: Zach’s brother, Almanza, called me to say that he received the bronze in the 25-meter-assisted walk, not the softball throw. Sorry about the mix-up.



Of all the shirts people donned at today’s Special Olympics Summer Games at Fort Lewis, the ones that read “Team Zack,” were the some of the loudest.



The family of Zach Mendes of Everett made the shirts to show their support. Unfortunately, the company that printed the shirts spelled his name with a “k,” rather than an “h.”



but the misspelling didn’t stop the 12 members

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May
30th

Lakewood athlete thankful for more than her silver

Ever wonder what you would say if a reporter asked you what you enjoyed most about winning in the Olympics?


Well, that’s what happened to Nancy Roberts, a Lakewood resident and member of Pierce County Friends and Athletes.


She took silver in the 100-year trot. After the medal ceremony, I asked her what was her favorite part of Saturday.


“The sunshine,” Roberts said, her smile beaming.


At these games, the old saying of “winning isn’t everything” really is true.

May
30th

Bo don’t know Kevin from Tacoma Metro Parks

Kevin Anderson is a 10-year veteran of the Special Olympics.

The 26-year-old from Tacoma was taking a break from his events Saturday at Cowan Stadium at Fort Lewis. Minutes removed his gold medal-winning performance in the shot put as a member of the Metro Parks Panthers, he was mentally preparing to sprint in the 100-meter and 200-meter dashes later in the afternoon.

That’s right, Anderson is a multi-sport athlete, a la Bo Jackson, the super athlete of the 1980s. (Remember lines such as, “Bo knows golf,” etc.? That’s Kevin)

Anderson, who has down syndrome, doesn’t let his skills on the field get to his head. However, he did predict a strong showing in the running events.

“I’m super-speed,” he said, pointing to his chest.

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May
30th

Special Olympics Summer Games ’09

UPDATE: Officials say more than 2,500 athletes competed in the Special Olympics


I’m here at the annual Summer Games for Special Olympics Washington at Fort Lewis, where cheers and high-fives are in no short supply.


It’s amazing to see the enthusiasm and effort these athletes put into these games. It’s also amazing to see their families and friends travel from places such as Eastern Washington, Vancouver and Arlington to cheer them on.


In the seating area of the track, various colored tents help identify where these teams are from. I’ve already spotted one team from the South

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May
29th

Walking tour suggests South Hill could improve

Puyallup officials have aspirations to make their city more walkable – particularly in South Hill, where the South Hill Mall and adjacent strip malls line traffic-plagued Meridian Avenue.

Thursday city officials invited citizens, health department officials and a national expert on pedestrian-friendly communities to point out what they’ve been doing wrong.

The "walkability" assessment, sponsored by the city and the Tacoma Pierce-County Health Department, took a group of citizens, elected officials and city staff on a tour of downtown Puyallup and South Hill.

Their mission: figure out what street and building improvements could encourage people to get out of their cars and walk from place to place.

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May
29th

Lakewood dismisses 25 fines issued to boaters who didn’t pay boat launch fee

Lakewood City Manager Andrew Neiditz e-mailed me today, saying that he caught my previous post about fines for not paying the $10 launch fee at American Lake Park.


He sent me an update on total fines during the holiday weekend. Turns out, the city issued tickets to 25 boaters. And yes, the fine is $500.


After visiting the site, he did admit that the signs that are supposed to alert boaters of the fee were “not appropriate,” and that the city will make them more visible.


More importantly, Neiditz asked the Lakewood Municipal Court and City

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May
28th

Failure to pay for launch = a big fine

I probably won’t do a story for the print edition on this e-mail we received. Still, I wanted to pass along the hard lesson some people learned about launching a boat at American Lake without paying the launch fee.

The email, which was sent by disgruntled Lakewood resident Morris Quimby, details his experience at the new boat launch a week after it opened.

If it’s true, I’m amazed at the $500 fine the city levies if you launch without paying the $10 fee. Ouch.

Here’s Quimby’s account. Note the last line in which he says he’s not one of the unfortunate boaters:

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May
28th

Last chance to see Point Defiance’s beluga whale Beethoven

It’s will be an all whale weekend at the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium.

Fans of the zoo’s last beluga whale Beethoven will get a chance to see him perform in four extended shows Saturday and Sunday before he leaves next week for SeaWorld in Houston, Texas.

"This will be the last weekend (to see him) as far as we know, " John Rupp, curator of aquatic animals at the zoo, said today. "We are planning for his departure in the next week."

The weekend shows will be at 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. both days.

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