Word on the Street

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

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Archives: June 2010


Puyallup to explore how to reduce payroll costs

Puyallup officials expect to face a $5 million annual budget shortfall in 2011 and again in 2012, which could require them to lay off anywhere between 50 and 94 of the city’s 300 employees if they don’t raise revenue or cut elsewhere, the city’s finance director told the City Council Tuesday night.

If the city were to address the $5 million annual shortfall through layoffs alone, about 50 employees would have to be let go starting in July, Finance Director Cliff Craig said at a council study session to set budget priorities. If the city waits to address budget problems until January 2011, cutting 94 positions would be necessary to close the $5 million gap, he said.

To avoid mass layoffs, Puyallup City Council members told staff at Tuesday’s study session to start looking at other cost-saving measures, including offering a buyout package to retirement-eligible employees and reducing City Hall office hours.

Council members said they weren’t yet ready to discuss implementing a new business and occupation tax, which would apply to businesses’ gross receipts.

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After the “Eclipse”: SPOILER ALERT!!!

The theater is uncomfortably silent as the audience stares intently at the silver screen.

Jacob Black and Edward Cullen sit restlessly in a tent, high on a mountain top; Bella sleeps between them. The two talk uncomfortably about the girl, awaiting the massive battle that is scheduled to occur the following morning.

It’s one of the most anticipated scenes to come from “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse” — the scene all Twi-hards have been waiting for… so what’s the verdict?

Here is what the fans are saying about the newest chapter of The Twilight Saga:

“It was great,” said Samantha Guilford,

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Twilight FANdemonium

Along with the phenomenon that is The Twilight Saga, comes the insanity that is Twilight fandom. But, who, you may ask, are the most bloodthirsty?

The Twilight Moms.

Like their teenage counterparts, these 30-and-over-somethings have made Twilight fandom not only a hobby — but a way of life.

Mothers Maggie Lane and Donna Brawley arrived at the theater at 7 p.m. The women said they are most looking forward to the scenes with Taylor Lautner.

“I am definitely ‘Team Jacob,’” Brawley said, pointing to the picture of the teen-wolf on her shirt.

Self-proclaimed “Twilight Grandmother” Maryjo Medley said she

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Twilight fans seek total “Eclipse”

Twilight fans are showing up in full force at tonight’s “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse” premiere at Regal Lakewood Cinema 15.

According to The Associated Press “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse” was booked in a record 4,416 theaters for its debut Wednesday. This beats the previous record of 4,380 theaters set by “Iron Man 2.”

Theater employee Johnathan Hart said lines have been forming since 5:30 p.m. As expected, fans of Stephenie Meyer’s books have dressed the part!

Teenager girls decked in “Team Edward” and “Team Jacob” garb scatter the walls both in hallways and outside of the theater. But girls

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Engineering mistake costs $890,000 on State Route 16 project in Tacoma

An off-ramp built in the wrong place – an engineering mistake attributed to human error –on the State Route 16 construction project in Tacoma will cost the state $890,000 to correct.

“This is a dark day,” Kevin Dayton, administrator for the state Department of Transportation’s Olympic Region, said by phone Saturday.

“The first question is, ‘Gosh, how could you make such a blunder,’” Dayton said.

The problem was with the eastbound Highway 16 off-ramp to Sprague Avenue, which was in the wrong spot to line up with future work, Dayton said. The earthen off-ramp connects Highway 16 with the elevated bridge that leads to Sprague Avenue in Nalley Valley. As the project was refined from two eastbound lanes to three eastbound lanes to accommodate traffic, engineers needed to move the placement of the off-ramp to make room. But that wasn’t communicated between members of the eastbound design team and the westbound design team. Bottom line, the engineering plan went out with the off-ramp in the wrong spot. Read more »


Tacoma Hempfest in Wright Park

Marijuana supporters gathered this morning in Wright Park for Tacoma’s first Hempfest.

The event features music, food and vendors selling colorful glass pipes – for tobacco, of course.

Hempfest volunteers walked around and reminded visitors that smoking anything in Tacoma parks is illegal. Just about everyone seemed to be complying.

One vendor was selling smoked salmon.

“Dude, the police are here, don’t smoke the salmon,” said Steve Phun of Seattle, who was gathering signatures for Initiative 1068 to legalize marijuana for adults.

“It’s hard to keep lit,” one officer deadpanned as he walked past.


Liquor stores open for July 4th holiday

State-run liquor stores that are normally open on Sundays will be open on  Sunday, July 4, according to the state Liquor Control Board..

The open state stores will be open from noon to 5 p.m. For a list of state stores open on Independence Day, click here.

Most stores open Monday, July 5
July 5 is an official state holiday. Most state liquor stores will be open at their normal time of either 10 a.m. or 11 a.m., and close at 7 p.m. For a list of state stores open on July 5, click here.

Contract stores

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Going to the Taste? What you need to know

Heading to the Taste of Tacoma this weekend? This handy guide gives you the nuts and bolts about the festival including parking, transportation, entertainment and free cake.

Emerald Queen Taste of Tacoma

When: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday

Where: Point Defiance Park, Tacoma

Admission: Free

Parking: $10 in the Funland lot across from the park; handicap parking available for $10 (access by staying in the left lane heading down Pearl)

Taste Express bus: Pierce Transit will offer express service every 15 minutes all day between the Tacoma Community College

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