Word on the Street

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

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Archives: July 2010


Be green, have fun, slosh around, mulch

The funmeisters at Green Tacoma Partnership have a free workshop for kids and a swampy adventure for all on this week’s schedule of eco-adventures.

Tacoma EnviroHouse will host a free workshop for kids ages 9 and up from 10:30 to noon Saturday at 3510 S. Mullen St.

The children will make a recycled art project and learn about plant biology, and parents are welcome to stroll the uber-green house and grounds. Registration is required. Call (253)-573-2426, or visit the website.

Citizens for a Healthy Bay will be mulching at the Gog le hi te wetlands from 9:30

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Heads up for Lisa

Mourners at Lisa Melancon’s memorial service this evening will have the chance to support her family and come away with a remembrance of her.

Northwest Embroidery has donated 72 caps that will be available at the Tacoma Dome.

“We hope to raise $2,000.00 for the family,” said Jim Mickelson, the company’s CEO.

He is suggesting a $20 donation for each hat, and knows from experience that many of Melancon’s admirers will be happy to give more. The company’s donated hats raised $30,000 for the families of the four Lakewood police officers murdered in November.
The company,

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Fife hires city manager search firm from Florida

Fife city officials have hired a Florida search firm to find their next city manager at a cost of $23,500.

The City Council voted 4-3 Tuesday night to select Colin Baenziger & Associates, of Wellington, Fla. The other finalist – favored by the other three council members – was Bellevue-based Prothman Co.

The Fife position will be Baenziger & Associates first city manager search in Washington state, said Fife City Manager Steve Worthington. The contract covers all costs, except travel for candidates.

Worthington, 56, announced plans last month to resign after working for the city for 12 years, the last

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Honoring Lisa Melancon on the procession route

Neighborhood groups plan to honor slain code enforcement officer Lisa Melancon by lining the last leg of the procession route to her memorial service at 7 p.m. tonight, Wednesday, July 28, at the Tacoma Dome Convention Center.

Here’s an invitation from Lynnette Rogers Scheidt of Dome Top Alliance:

“At 6 p.m. today anyone on the Eastside of Tacoma can take part in Lisa Melancon’s funeral procession. We are asking people to line up on McKinley Avenue starting at the 4-way stop on 34th and McKinley. If you have a flag, bring it. The procession will start at her

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Free foreclosure intervention workshop Thursday

If foreclosure’s a threat to your home, you have a free resource on Thursday.

Pacific Northwest Bankers Association is sponsoring a free Foreclosure Intervention Workshop from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 29 at the Renton Holiday Inn, 1 South Grady Way, Renton, 98055.

The program is intended for people whose home mortgage payments are soaring, who got a loan they did not understand or could not afford, or whose income has gone down. Lender representatives and foreclosure prevention counselors will be available with information on income tax issues, legal rights and the foreclosure process.

For an appointment, call

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Snippets from Brooke Upton’s barber chair

Here are bits of Brooke Upton’s conversations with her customers at Noggins Barbershop:

Upton: “How have you adjusted to your new position?”

David Andrews, retail credit administrator, Columbia Bank and former redhead: “Pretty well. It’s a conservative culture that fits me.”

Upton: “How do we even get along? Because I am certainly not conservative.”
She trims his white hair to 1/8th of an inch.

Upton: “Do you miss it? Do you miss the red hair? Do you miss the stereotype that goes along with red hair? That was one of the first things my mom warned me about.

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Praise for slain code enforcement officer Lisa Melancon

All day Friday we have been hearing from people who knew and admired Lisa Melancon. Their praise illustrates the depth of her commitment to Tacoma.

Below is a sampling of what people had to say about her. Please feel free to add your thoughts in the comments section.

From Jeanie Peterson of Hilltop Action Coalition:

“She worked her way up from the office to the field in Code Enforcement. She was famous in the office for handling situations. It was ‘Call Lisa Wilson. She can solve everything.’ Then Lisa became something we can’t pronounce (Melancon). She was always the

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The senseless loss of Lisa Marie Melancon

I am working on a column for Saturday’s paper on the death of Lisa Marie Melancon.

She was a city code enforcement officer, and a community hero. She worked with police and community activists to clean up blight and crime and was greatly admired.

If you or your community group would like to speak with me about her, please call me at 253-597-8677.

If you would prefer to write a statement about her, please e-mail it to me at kathleen.merryman@thenewstribune.com. Please include your name, your neighborhood and a phone number where I can reach you.

Thank you,


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