Word on the Street

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

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Archives: June 2009


Responsi-Bull redux

Four animal welfare groups are re-running a program aimed at encouraging responsible pit bull ownership, and discouraging the dogs’ overpopulation and exploitation.

The Responsi-Bull Project will offer free pit bull spaying and neutering, classes on owning the dogs, and obedience classes.

“Despite their top-rated temperaments or their once-respected status, pit bulls have become the breed of choice for many irresponsible people, and consequently are flooding animal shelters,” said Andrea Logan, one of the project coordinators. “An estimated one-third of dogs entering our shelters are pit bulls or pit bull mixes, and 90 percent of those dogs will not find a home.”

Here’s what the project offers:

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New blog makes the case against Sounder route in Tacoma

Opponents of the way Sound Transit plans to run Sounder rail tracks from the Tacoma Dome to South Tacoma have started a blog called Do It Right Tacoma.

Here’s how they state their position: “Sound Transit is planning to build a rail line through Tacoma and their current plans are NOT GOOD for the future growth of Tacoma. We’re very concerned that the plans affect future economic development, damage critical environmental areas, and will greatly affect quality of life and recreation needs of the area.”

Here is a link to the blog.


Gig Harbor mayor to lead cleanup at Jerisich Dock on Thursday

Just got an e-mail from the City of Gig Harbor that says Mayor Chuck Hunter will lead a cleanup party Thursday at Jerisich Dock.

Spokeswoman Laureen Lund writes:

Jerisich doesn’t necessarily have a "history" but is definitely a very popular and well used dock and park so of course generates trash. At low tide you can see things stuck to the bottom that just are not supposed to be there!


Bus rider worried about Pierce Transit service cuts

Doris Jairala has been a faithful bus rider the past five years, taking the 53 route a few times a week to get to her housekeeping jobs.

Driving isn’t an option for the 62-year-old University Place resident. She suffers from seizures and isn’t allowed to get behind the wheel.

(To the left: Doris Jairala, of University Place, rides the Number 53 bus to her job as a housekeeper last month. The route will be eliminated in July as Pierce Transit reduces less-used routes such as hers. Joe Barrentine/The News Tribune)

So that means for her job, she hops on the bus to Lakewood, Steilacoom, UP and any other community in which her work takes her.

But she will be one of the thousands of riders who will have to find a new bus beginning July 12. Pierce Transit, squeezed by the economic downturn, opted to eliminate or reduce service on routes throughout the county that don’t have a high ridership.

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They’re looking for a few good neighbors

Residents of the Far East Side are beautifying and stabilizing the area, and they’re looking for new neighbors with the energy and vision to jump in on the fun.

They’re urging prospective home buyers to come to the East Tacoma Home Buyer’s Fair and Tour of Homes Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

It’s a two-part event, with a resource fair at the Portland Avenue Center, 3513 Portland Ave., and a tour of move-in-ready homes nearby.

At the fair, reputable experts will be on hand to discuss zero-down financing, down payment assistance programs, FHA and

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Those arrested in Lakewood for misdemeanors should be prepared to take a little drive

People arrested and jailed for misdemeanor crimes in Lakewood might have noticed that they’re being bused between their cells and the courtroom.

On June 8, Lakewood began transporting its misdemeanor arrests from the Pierce County Jail to Lakewood Municipal Court.

Those inmates are brought in through a secured area, accompanied by two of Lakewood’s finest. People in the courtroom are screened, just like at the County-City Building.

Kathy Westerdahl, Lakewood’s director of court services, said the change won’t save the department money. (Any savings is offset by transportation costs)

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Once you go Black Water…

Following the Black Water Cafe’s seemingly abrupt closure last week, I finally got around to wandering off my beat a bit and seeing if there were any court filings that might shed some light on the death of the beloved caffeinating hole.

I found a law suit filed in December that starts to explicate a dispute in which Black Water was embroiled one side with its landlord and on the other side with its investors.

Investors Douglas Knudson and his wife Marilyn Ryan are suing Black Water and proprietor Rachel Moreshead for $44,000.

According to their complaint: they had previously invested money, then had a dispute, then settled their dispute with written agreement.

Under the agreement, Black Water had to make timely payments to the investors and to its landlord, keep business assets fully insured and keep the business solvent.

“Black Water Cafe, Inc. and Ms. Moreshead have had a history of missed or late payments, failure to keep insurance in effect and other failures to comply with the agreement,” the complaint states. (Moreshead disputes many of the claims made against her in her answer to the complaint.)

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A bit of the Sahara in Point Defiance

For millennia camels have ferried people across the Sahara Desert, carried goods between the oasis towns of Arabia and been the lifeline of nomads living in the Sahel.

But after Brandyn Fouts climbed off the back of Mojave, a 6-year-old dromedary, he echoed one of the reasons the camel hasn’t caught on as North America’s choice beast of burden.

“The hump is not a comfortable seat,” he said Saturday.

The 11-year-old Port Orchard boy was one of the first customers to ride Mojave on the first day of Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium camel exhibit. He climbed aboard the sand-colored animal and giggled as a zoo employee led the camel across a patch of woodchips.

Mojave is one of three camels on which zoo customers can ride; Point Defiance is the first zoo in the Northwest to offer such an attraction. The rides will be offered throughout the summer and likely on weekends through September, said Derek Chapin, a visitor services supervisor with the zoo.

Each ride lasts a few minutes and costs $5; three people can ride at once.

“I didn’t know what riding a camel would be like,” said 10-year-old Oliver Corcoran of Mercer Island, who rode with two of his friends, Mitchell Meade of Mercer Island and Aksel Hansen of Issaquah. “It was a lot of fun. Camels are cool.”

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