Word on the Street

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

NOTICE: Word on the Street has moved.

With the launch of our new website, we've moved Word on the Street.
Visit the new section.

Archives: Feb. 2010


Federal Way schools headquarters to relocate

Federal Way Public Schools will buy a vacant office building across from City Hall for $8.9 million to relocate its administrative headquarters.

The district’s school board voted 4-0 Tuesday night to authorize the purchase of the 71,000-square-foot, vacant Northwest Corporate Center.

Employees from the district’s 24,000-square-foot Education Support Center and three other locations will work out of the new headquarters, expected to open in July 2011, said Sally McLean, chief financial officer.

The purchase will result in a expanded hub for publicly funded workers in Federal Way with City Hall and the district headquarters on opposite sides of Eighth Avenue South near the Federal Way Community Center and Celebration Park.

The district also plans to spend $4.5 million to remodel the 25-year-old Northwest Corporate Center at 33330 Eighth Ave. S., which was most recently used by the Weyerhaueser Co.
Read more »


Lakewood to “stagger” filling positions of four fallen officers

Lakewood City Manager Andrew Neiditz announced Monday night that the city will have to trim its budget another $500,000 this year.

That’s about 1.5 percent of Lakewood’s $37 million budget, and it comes as cities across the South Sound are reducing expenses in the tough economy. Staff is proposing to eliminate two positions – one in the administrative and the other in the community development department — and make other reductions in expenses.

But staff also proposes to stagger the timeline to fill the positions of the four Lakewood police officers who were gunned down in a Parkland coffee shop Nov. 29.
Read more »


Harsher impound rules for DWLS arrestees in Lakewood?

Drivers arrested with a suspended license may face tougher rules that will keep their vehicles in the impound lot longer than expected.

The Lakewood City Council is scheduled to discuss a proposal tonight that would bring the city’s laws and procedures regarding impounded vehicles closer to the state’s.

The proposed changes would create a tiered impound system for motorists who are arrested for driving with a suspended license and have a prior DWLS conviction within the past five years.
Read more »


Bair to reopen as bistro

The Bair Drug & Hardware Store, built in 1895, is currently closed and is scheduled to reopen as a restaurant on Lafayette Street in Steilacoom. Photo taken Tuesday February 16, 2010.(Janet Jensen/Staff photographer)

A landmark building in Washington’s oldest town will reopen as a restaurant, much to the delight of hungry history buffs throughout the South Sound.

The Bair Drug & Hardware Store — an 1895 building located in the heart of Steilacoom on Lafayette Street — underwent some remodeling over the last two years. Its owner looked for an entrepreneur who would utilize the building as a business while retaining its historical integrity.

This week, the director of the Steilacoom Historical Museum Association, which owns the building, confirmed that a Fircrest woman with deep family ties to Steilacoom will use the building as a bistro.
Read more »


Lake Tapps spring season fill under way

Cascade Water Alliance, the new owner of Lake Tapps, has begun refilling the water level of Lake Tapps as part of the reservoir’s annual wintertime drawdown and spring refill.

The refill began Monday in coordination with the Lake Tapps Community Council and consistent with the White River Agreement with the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe and the Puyallup Tribe of Indians, Cascade said today in a news release.

The goal is to return the lake to its full, summer recreational level of 542.2 feet to 543.7 feet above sea level by mid-April. This schedule may be affected by the low snow pack feeding the

Read more »


Federal Way to begin its own animal service

Federal Way decided Tuesday night to start a city animal service to replace King County Animal Care and Control.

The Federal Way City Council voted 6-1 to begin operating the locally run service – including pet licensing – starting July 1.

Federal Way police estimate that the city could save $146,000 a year by starting a two-person department when King County begins charging cities more this summer.

Council member Jeanne Burbidge said beginning the city’s own animal service “will alleviate the frustrations that so many of our citizens have experienced” with delays of service from King County animal control.

Council member Dini Duclos also voiced her support. “I’m pleased that the city of Federal Way is stepping forward to offer a program for our animals,” Duclos said.

But after Tuesday night’s meeting, council member Roger Freeman said he voted against the start-up because he’s concerned how the city will cover the costs.

“Nobody told me how we were going to pay for it,” Freeman said. “The numbers didn’t add up.”
Read more »