Word on the Street

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

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Archives: Aug. 2009

Aug.
25th

Neighborhood leaders invited to conference Saturday

The community activists who are redefining Tacoma will have a chance to get together and brush up their skills Saturday.


The City-Wide Fall Neighborhood Conference runs from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Aug. 29 at the Tacoma Campus of Evergreen State College, 1210 Sixth Avenue.


The Neighborhood Councils and Community Council of Tacoma are sponsoring the event, which aims to support the work that so many formal and informal groups have done to fight crime and blight. Thanks to their hard work, Tacoma is a nicer place to live.


Bill Garl, president of the Community Councils of

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Aug.
25th

Woodbrook woman: “Look at the broader spectrum” with plan

Monday’s joint meeting between the Lakewood City Council and Port of Tacoma Commission didn’t feature any fireworks, just discussion about what a consultant’s plan would do to an isolated neighborhood.

The two sides commissioned a study last year into the possibility of turning Woodbrook — a peninsula of land east of Interstate 5 – into a business park.

As I reported in my story Sunday, the study stated that one of the biggest challenges to redeveloping the area is the approximately 500 homes and 1,500 mostly low-income residents that are there now.

Both the City Council and the Port Commission said that complicates the problem. When the port developed Fredrickson in the mid-1980′s, the people there were more than willing to sell their land, officials said.

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Aug.
24th

Start of construction has Hylebos Bridge all wrapped up

I was hoping it was a Cristo art installation. But no, the plastic wrap around the Hylebos Bridge on the NE Tacoma side of the Tideflats is part of a bridge rehabilitation project that got under way this month.


The plastic keeps stuff that comes off during sandblasting from getting into the waterway. Once the first span (actually called a bascule leaf) is cleaned, the second span will get wrapped.


The bridge hasn’t worked since 2001 and was left in the uplifted position to allow ships to use the channel. That, however, hasn’t helped cars and trucks

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Aug.
24th

Tom Mustin was a Shrimp, and other amazing facts


Tacoma Community House’s gymolition celebration was a big hit Friday, as compared to a big whomp with a bulldozer this week. The gym’s being demolished this week, and TCH leaders are working with neighbors to think of how best to use the space.


About 40 people showed up to bid the non-profit’s old gym a fond farewell, and to tell stories of the things they learned and the fun they had there. Among the guests were two of the mighty Shrimps, the TCH basketball team that played in the 1950s. Tom Mustin,

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Aug.
21st

A garage sale, a cord of wood, and good friends

Bethel High School grads stick together, Marba Cowan says, especially when one of them’s in trouble.


Cowan and Jan Scott are helping to organize a fund-raiser for fellow alum Tom Mires, who is fighting cancer.


It’s a free-form kind of benefit, part garage sale, part auction, part concert, all of it aimed at helping out Mires’ family.


The friends have collected an impressive variety of items, including a cord of wood and a supply of breast self-examination pads. Most of the donations will go into a garage sale Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 22 and 23, at

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Aug.
21st

What’s going on at the University-Union Club?

I’ve been getting some calls from folks wondering about the increased activity around the University-Union Club. That’s the white mansion just up the street from the old Elks Lodge that most-recently housed David’s On Broadway restaurant. (OK, Winfields was the most-recent but it wasn’t open long enough for most to notice).


The grounds are being cleaned up, the old Winfield’s sign was removed and a fabric sign advertising the now-closed David’s was hung on the water side.


So I asked Aleta Benedicto,the agent marketing the building, if there was some news.


Not yet, she said.


“There

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Aug.
20th

Expect congestion this weekend on I-5

Drivers heading to Seattle this weekend, including fans going to the Seahawks game on Saturday night, should plan for backups on Interstate 5, the Washington State Department of Transportation advises.


A lane and a ramp in downtown Seattle will be closed almost all day Saturday and half of Sunday.


On Saturday WSDOT is expecting southbound delays of up to 60 minutes through downtown and delays of up to 20 minutes on Sunday.


The I-5 express lanes will be open southbound all day and that means northbound drivers heading into Seattle on Saturday afternoon and evening should

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Aug.
19th

A transformation in Tillicum

Anjel and Rico Hernandez are two of the activity starved Tillicum youth who received a 3,000-square-foot gift this month.

After three years of planning and renovations, Tacoma Area Youth For Christ opened its center in the geographically isolated Lakewood neighborhood, across the northern gates of Fort Lewis.

(To the right is a picture taken by Dan Livingston, the new center’s director, of what the building looked like two years ago)

To longtime residents who remember what the Tillicum Youth and Family Center building used to be, its makeover might require a double-take. The Tacoma organization that helps youth live a positive life through God renovated an abandoned bar and turned adjacent duplexes into housing for staff.

It opened for the first time last week for one day. It’s open two days this week, and officials hope it will be open five days a week when school year starts.

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